That it should come to this …

A blue sleeping bag discarded near Binns Bridge in Drumcondra is the only clue that people once slept there.

On Thursday 2 November, fast and high waters covered the area under the bridge, and the pathway on either side of the canal that used to run under it.

In July this year, Waterways Ireland raised the water level to prevent homeless people from sleeping under the bridge, a spokesperson confirmed.

From a story by Laoise Neylon in the Dublin Inquirer on 8 November 2017. Well done to Ms Neylon for going and finding out stuff rather than just recycling press releases.

Here’s a map of the areas of the Grand Canal where eviction notices were served [PDF].

There must be some better way of responding to homelessness than by flooding people out.


4 responses to “That it should come to this …

  1. sadly this kinda of thing is all too common in local government. For instance, I know my local council in Brighton used to quite regularly remove public benches from our seafront and parks to “tackle rough sleeping”. I did ask if they would follow on by removing tarmac in order to tackle potholes, but I never got a coherent reply.

  2. I am confused by the suggestion that raising the level under Binns Bridge in Drumcondra could be done. I Googled for a photo (Google delivered me one on your site!) and if the level was raised sufficiently to flood the paths under the bridge, the water would spill over the lock walls at the lower end of the lock and create a risk of long term damage to same.

    I am happy to be corrected if wrong.

  3. According to the correspondence obtained under FOI, WI wrote to the Gardaí on 19 April 2017 to say “We are planning to raise the level of the deep gates of the lock under the bridge to try and keep the area flooded to try and prevent people using under the bridge. This work will take a few weeks to arrange but if were possible for you to be present during this work it would be greatly appreciated. I will be in touch with a date when we are planning to carry out this work and we can discuss further.” It’s not clear from the correspondence when (or whether) that was done. bjg

  4. I stand corrected – there is a photo on the Dublin Inquirer website of the water doing exactly what I said it would do – spill over the end wall of the lock chamber.

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