Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon has called for urgent clarity on proposed works along the banks of the Grand Canal that could involve the use of hostile architecture like spikes to prevent homeless people from erecting tents.

Deputy Gannon, who represents Dublin Central, said:

“For more than six weeks now, one of the city’s most cherished public amenities has been blighted by unsightly barriers, which were erected in response to the immigration accommodation crisis.

“Vulnerable asylum seekers had been forced to pitch their tents along the banks of the Grand Canal after being moved on from streets near the International Protection Office on Mount Street, where they had been sleeping rough.

“This was a direct result of the Government’s failure to comply with its legal obligations to provide accommodation to those seeking asylum in the State.

“Instead of having an International Protection system that is fit for purpose, the sticking plaster solution to the crisis has been to erect ugly barriers along the banks of the canal – one of the capital’s most popular walking routes.

“This is continuing to impact the public’s enjoyment of the amenity and is affecting trade for local businesses along the canal at the height of the summer.

“It has now emerged that these barriers will remain in place through the summer, seriously limiting the public’s ability to enjoy the canal.

“According to news reports, Waterways Ireland plans to redesign the canal area to prevent vulnerable homeless people erecting tents. It’s difficult to see how this can be done without using hostile architecture, like spikes, and permanently destroying one of Dublin’s best loved amenities.

“Waterways Ireland should be concentrating on enhancing and promoting the canal – not preventing homeless people from camping. It is an outrage that these plans are being made behind closed doors with zero public engagement.

“What is happening to the Grand Canal amounts to prolonged and deliberate State-sponsored vandalism.

“I am calling on Waterways Ireland to provide full clarity as to what exactly is being proposed and for the immediate removal of the temporary barriers along the banks of the canal.”

June 26, 2024

Back to all Posts