Glen Hansard was extremely critical of the Government and their handling of the homeless crisis
"The way they can lie and spin."
Speaking at the recent Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that his party can “look proudly to its record and the many steps we have taken to build a state that cares and in particular one that cares for families”.
The Fine Gael leader also added that they're a “compassionate party" that will play "a role in offering a helping hand to those that need it”.
Emergency accommodation figures for September showed that there are now 9,698 people living in homeless accommodation across Ireland.
The number of homeless children in Ireland is now 3,829.
On this note, the presence of Glen Hansard on the Late Late Show couch was very timely because aside from his impressive career as a musician, Hansard became a household name due to his role in the Occupy Apollo House movement.
Speaking about the origins of the movement, Hansard said: "People got together and ideas were pushed around and then there was a building located and we thought 'well if we took that, it wouldn't do any harm because that sort of belongs to us anyway. It's a NAMA building, so it belongs to the people of Ireland."
After thanking Ryan Tubridy for giving him a platform to announce that there would be an act of civil disobedience taking place and that the Apollo House building would be occupied, the musician then criticised the Government for their handling of the situation.
"Broadly speaking, there was huge amount of goodwill. I expected the Government to see that and sort of go 'you know what lads? Well done. Fair play' because it wasn't an an anti-government action. It was just a pro-helping people movement. Instead, we got landed with a court order and then it was like 'shut this down.' We went and we had meetings with the Housing Minister and you know, these guys are amazing. I've got an Oscar at home and I'd give it to Simon Coveney (then Housing Minister) because that acting is amazing. The way they can lie and spin."
Hansard added: "Please don't get me wrong, I've got no problem with Simon Coveney as a person, or Eoghan Murphy."
When asked if he believes that the current government are doing their best to alleviate the homeless crisis, Hansard said: "They say they're doing their damnedest. But the truth of the matter is that we've got a government that are ideologically positioned that the private market - or the free market - will take care of things. The problem with the free market is that it doesn't care about people, the free market cares about profit."
"The free market knows nothing about that natural spirit of 'there's something wrong, let's get around it.' Why did we stop building public housing in the '80s? Why haven't we continued? They've given 7 billion to private landlords over the last five year. Think about how many houses that would build."
Here's the interview in full.
Clip via The Late Late Show