On Wednesday night November 16th, the members of the City Council of Cork, voted and passed the budget as protesters demanded better housing and services outside the City Hall.
Protesting on the Steps of City Hall
Dozens of Cork citizens gathered outside the City Hall to make their voices heard as members of the City Council were voting the proposed budget.
The protest organized by The People Convention, started at 6:30, with people holding banners and talking through megaphones, in order to make their voices heard. They were upset about the housing crisis and the ever raising rates of rent in the city of Cork, that is due to the shortage of houses.
The protesters believed that the budget set for housing and services every year, is not really put into building new houses, or social housing. In their view, the government needed to build thousands of houses in order to make housing affordable for all classes of society(with having a shelter being a basic human right).
Diarmaid O’Cadhla , Cork based Irish independent politician of People’s Convention, whose organization had organized the protest, had told me earlier that he was appalled by the current crisis since it had doubled up the population of homeless people in Cork, the main cause of it being the evictions that occurs when people can’t simply afford to pay their high rents.
What Went Down at City Council’s Budget Meeting
There was a heated a debate with members of AAA and worker parties, being against the proposed budget.One of them described the budget insufficient , and something that would add to the current repulsive gain of landlords. The Lord Mayor urged the members of Council to agree on a balanced budget, or to agree on appropriate amendments.
When different sections of the budget was put into vote members of AAA and Worker parties voted against almost all of them. However, the budget was passed, with a hope that it would actually lead to better housing and services in the beautiful city of Cork.
P.S: No camera was allowed inside City Council’s budget meeting.
Housing Crisis in Cork: a Long Story with no Happy Ending in Sight
There is a housing crisis going on in Ireland, with the city of Cork (second important city after Capital City of Dublin) being most affected by it. Cork, which is home to one of Ireland’s top universities(University College of Cork) welcomes hundreds of international students each year. However, with the current housing crisis even Irish citizens cannot afford a decent above-head. Not only students have to share their living space sometimes with as much as nine people, but Irish folks working in Cork, have to do the same.
I heard this many times, that in order to find an affordable house in Cork, you have to have certain “connections”, something that I find plainly absurd. Now, and with the passing of the new housing budget, all eyes are on the members of City Council to find out if they are actually going to make a tangible change in the situation at hand. I for one, sure hope so.