Calling the direct line - Dublin Selected *281

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It’s sometimes difficult for a cynic to admit that they believe in people power, but for some reason the concept doesn’t feel so alien after reading some of this week’s headlines.

Instigating improvements to our communities can often be a lot of hot air and waiting around for local authorities to just read our minds and know what we want and need. Sometimes, you end up nestling away and becoming an armchair activist.

That said, we came across to awe-inspiring examples of ordinary extraordinary people effecting change in their locality. In Dublin, the Irish Housing Network has reclaimed over a defunct hostel on Bolton Street, which is owned by DCC, and is working with volunteers to create accommodation for some of the people who are so desperately in need.

Meanwhile, in Cork there is the cleanest guerrilla movement you ever did see. It’s called the Cork Oldtown District Action Committee (CODAC, if you want to avoid spitting everywhere with that mouthful) and it’s full of sound people just going around and giving the place a lick of paint and an update. Self-described as rebels with a cause, they’re improving their own environment, one pesky weed at a time. It’s like Tidy Towns without the Hyacinth Buckets.

Next time we say ‘people power’, it’ll be with a different emphasis.

Who’s old broom has had 17 new heads, and 14 new handles? Kate or Michael


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