Newry sit out to raise awareness of homelessness

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Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
Community, Politics, What's On
Members of Sinn Féin Republican Youth are staging a sit out in Newry this week to raise awareness about homelessness in the city and the devastating effects austerity is having on low and middle income families.
Mark McLoughlin, John McCaul and Eugene Tinnelly of Sinn Féin Republican Youth with MP Mickey Brady, MLAs Megan Fearon and Conor Murphy and Councillor Valarie Harte are encouraging people to come out and support the group’s sit out in aid of the Simon Community on Thursday

Mark McLoughlin, John McCaul and Eugene Tinnelly of Sinn Féin Republican Youth with MP Mickey Brady, MLAs Megan Fearon and Conor Murphy and Councillor Valarie Harte are encouraging people to come out and support the group’s sit out in aid of the Simon Community on Thursday

Around 20 members of Óige Oirialla will take part in the event which will raise money for the Simon Community. Mark McLoughlin of Óige Oirialla said events like this were necessary to raise awareness about the invisible victims of austerity. “The homeless are in many ways the invisible victims of austerity,” he said. “We associate homelessness with people sleeping on the streets but that isn’t always the case. There are hundreds of people in this city sleeping in emergency accommodation, staying with friends and family, people who have no idea where they’re going to be sleeping the next week or the next night and they’re the hidden face of homelessness. “As part of their assault on the poor and vulnerable the Tory government in Britain has now cut youth housing benefits which far from tackling homelessness and poverty will increase the numbers of young people sleeping on the streets or crashing with friends if they’re lucky,” Mark insisted. “This is not just an issue for big cities like Belfast or Dublin. Newry has the highest level of homelessness in the southern region and in the Newry and Armagh electoral area there are over 1000 people in need of emergency housing. “Further austerity will not help these people, it will only add to the list of people in need of emergency housing across Ireland,” he added. John McCaul, also from Óige Oirialla, said the sit out event was just the beginning. “Austerity is going to affect so many in so many ways so this is just the beginning of our anti-austerity campaign,” he said. “We want people to be aware of the cuts that are coming and the devastating affects they’re going to have on low and middle income families. The money we raise from this event will go some small way to helping people in need but the real purpose is awareness. “People are sleepwalking into these cuts and they won’t see the true extent of what’s coming until it’s too late,” John added. The Sinn Féin Republican Youth sit out in aid of the Simon Community takes place on Thursday, August 6th in the Events Area (Marcus Square) on Hill Street from 1pm to 8am the next morning. Donations can be made directly to the group on the day or to the Sinn Fein office on Patrick Street, Newry.

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1 Comment for “Newry sit out to raise awareness of homelessness”

  1. John Mc Cabe

    I find it some what hypocritical that Sinn Fein had a sleep out to highlight homelessness.
    This is the same party whom opposed social housing for 14 families as part of the Carnbane Development. This sleep out should be viewed in the context of SF contributing to homelessness in their failed attempts to deprive much needed housing in Newry.

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