Students Sleep Out
By Aideen O'Flaherty
SENIOR cycle students from Lucan Community College held a sleep-out in the school grounds on Friday night, where students slept out in the elements in sleeping bags on pieces of cardboard, to raise awareness of the ongoing homelessness crisis.
Fourteen students from the school’s Amnesty International group slept overnight in the school grounds for the annual event, which was this year in its fifth year.
Lucan Community College students hand in petition with over 800 signatures calling for urgent action
Transition year students David Griffin and Agam Jeetsingh, both 16, spoke to The Echo about their experience and the reasons behind the sleep-out.
Agam explained: “It came to our awareness that the number of people that are homeless has gone up, and we wanted to do something to create awareness for our politicians so they can build more housing.”
The event was well attended by a number of local politicians, and the students handed over a petition with over 800 signatures calling for urgent action to be taken to build more houses to Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin, so it can be passed on to the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy.
Explaining what the experience of sleeping outside was like, David said: “We got to sleep in our sleeping bags on a bit of cardboard.
“Our backs were sore the next morning, but we were lucky because we had homes to go back to.”
Agam said: “We saw the sleep-out as a success, we got coverage in national media and got the word out [about homelessness and the sleep-out].”
The event was supported by the staff of the school and students’ parents, many of whom signed the petition.
David said: “Our families were very supportive of the idea. My mam was really happy with it.
“Teenagers have been getting a lot of bad press, but this shows that there are a lot of good teenagers too.”