People Before Profit
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By Richard Boyd Barrett

Despite government parties’ claims of economic recovery, Ireland remains a deeply unequal society. Government growth projections and claims of economic stability lack all credibility in the face of the evidence that another global economic down-turn is looming.

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Right2housing protest in September  with Cllrs Brid Smith and Tina MacVeigh highlighting scandal of empty houses while families are homeless
Right2housing protest in September with People Before Profit Cllrs, Brid Smith and Tina MacVeigh, highlighting scandal of empty houses while families are homeless

The Junior Minister with responsibility for housing, Paudie Coffey has finally admitted that there is an ‘emergency situation’ after a shocking RTE documentary appeared on housing.

Brid Smith, from People Before Profit said,

‘This government is speaking a different language in the weeks before the election than in the weeks beforehand.

‘One of the junior Ministers has admitted there is a housing emergency but his government has persistently refused to declare an official emergency.

‘Such a declaration would have allowed the government to speed up the social house building programme and impose a special levy on vacant properties that are left idle for speculative purposes.

‘The reality is that this government has turned its back on social housing and has invested less in this sector than any government for the past twenty five years.

‘Their primary aim is to re-stimulate the property bubble and that is why they prefer to subsidise private landlords than build social housing.

‘Just 55 social housing units, on average, have been built in Dublin in each of the last six years.

‘Efforts to curb rising rents have also been puny. The two year restriction on rent rises only means that tenants get a double rent whammy whereas real rent control would mean rents are tied to the rate of inflation.

‘We need a real change so that housing is not seen as a commodity but as a social right.’

For more information- Cllr Bríd Smith ( 087 909 0166)
Twitter- @bridsmith


The Labour Party worked happily with Fine Gael for four years but has suddenly discovered that they are a party for the rich. Joan Burton has started to warn about a ‘lack of balance’ if Fine Gael started to rule alone.

In a statement Cllr Brid Smith said,Labour is acting like a second-hand dealer of dodgy cars. In 2011, they won votes on a promise that they would restrain Fine Gael. And they are trying the same trick again.But once the votes were counted after 2011 Labour dropped all talk of restraining FG and acted as their collaborator. Labour warned that Fine Gael would introduce water charges – but then voted for them.

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A demonstration to highlight homelessness and the need for meaningfull housing policies and actions, was held this evening outside the Dail. It marked the anniversary of the death of  homeless man Jonathan Corrie. Right2Housing campaign supported the protest of around 1,000 people, who marched from the Spire to the Dail. Cllr Brid Smith who helped build the campaign and protest this evening said “Its a national disgrace that this government’s policies have made the situation worse not better, for people who are homeless as well as those in fear of homelessness. We need immediate rent caps, an end to evictions and a massive programme of social housing”.

Press Release


A combination of rent controls and a massive social housing programme is needed to solve housing crisis

People Before Profit has refuted the claims which have surfaced today in the press, that rent controls will not work.

Cllr Bríd Smith said: “What we have seen today and over the last while is a tidal wave of neo-liberal dogma. For anyone to suggest that rent controls are not an absolute necessity is absurd. One example that we can see is from Berlin. On June 1st of this year the Germany government brought in a new set of rules that limit rent increases within a given area, the average cost of new rents in that area dropped by 3.1% within a month. In other German cities that do not have these rent controls rents have remained static.

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People Before Profit supported the Right2Housing banner drops on empty properties all over the country highlighting the fact that the housing shortage is manufactured by builders and developers and their political friends in the main establishment parties.

Across Ireland – Right2Housing protestors highlighted how useless are the government’s policies regarding housing. Protestors dropped banners on propoerties that could and should be taken over and used to house the every-growing numbers of homeless people in our city and towns. Cllr Brid Smith and Tina MacVeigh coordinated banner drops accross Dublin South Constituency and encourage people to join PBP so that a meaningful housing policy might be pursued.

Right2housing housing protest Right2Housing Banner Drop John Dillon St

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poster housing conferencetimetable housing conf

A conference organised by Brid in March 2015 on the housing crisis attracted over 300 participants. Speakers included Fr Peter McVerry, Dr Andrew McLaren (Centre of urban and regional studies TCD), and Eileen Short – housing campaigner from East London as well as activists and campaigners past and present on the issue of social housing.

The videos below features some of the speakers at the conference and contributions from the floor.