A Place To Call Home


Margaret Cash and her seven children with RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan

This morning.

Homeless mum-of-seven Margaret Cash – who posted photographs of several of her children sleeping in Tallaght Garda station in Dublin last week – will move into a three-bedroom apartment in Dublin city centre on Friday.

She told RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan:

“On Friday, we’ll have a three-bedroom apartment here in town somewhere for a week trial and then, after the week’s trial, it will be on a monthly basis so  I’m quite happy with that.

“It’s better news than what it was last week, when they were expecting me to go night by night again, so I am, I’m really happy.”

Ms Cash also told Ms O’Callaghan that, prior to last week, she had previously been referred to Garda stations on two occasions and that’s why she posted the pictures of her children sleeping in the station last week.


Last night…

Anthony Flynn, of Inner City Helping Homeless – which has been paying for Ms Cash and her family’s accommodation since last week – wrote:

This morning @homelessDublin refunded the cost of accommodation we have paid of the last week. The process in doing this was as follows. DCC [Dublin City Council] rang the accommodation provider we engaged with last week, they asked them to refund ICHH [Inner City Helping Homeless] directly and they would then make payment. The accommodation provider immediately called me to discuss and ask for instruction as ICHH had originally made the booking.

I agreed for the provider to make the refund and charge Dublin City Council. The way in which this was done shows more complete contempt for the hard work and effort that ICHH do. Not making contact with us to discuss the issues or to work through the problems. All of the issues could have been dealt with last week if DCC had of worked with us instead of constantly working against us.

This isn’t the way the process should work, volunteer organisations are fundamentally important to support the charity sector. For five years ICHH have done so and have supported the most vulnerable and marginalised in society, statutory bodies ignoring those who are willing to help tackle a social crisis is absolutely wrong.

Previously: Anne Marie McNally: Lest Ye Be Judged

‘I’m Assuming They’re One Of The Families That Didn’t Seek Further Assistance From Us’

Gut Punch

Pic: Miriam O’Callaghan

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116 thoughts on “A Place To Call Home

    1. Frilly Keane

      Its probably to see if the family can settle in the inner City,
      schools etc
      like they’re being moved from Tallaght into a location where they may have no connections

      also, a 3 bed apartment imo isn’t proper accommodation for that family
      I think she probably needs a house with a bitt’ve garden
      like, she’s probably going to make do on the couch herself
      that’s not right either

      but its a start and she is very happy by the looks of it
      so that’s good enough for me

      1. Rob_G

        “I think she probably needs a house with a bitt’ve garden
        like, she’s probably going to make do on the couch herself
        that’s not right either”

        Yeah, it sucks when your free gaff doesn’t have space for a trampoline, alright…

      2. joe

        Probably needs access to a river and or lake for the kids. Hopefully that will be rectified soon too. Poor crayturs.

    2. Cupofteaanyone

      Probably bureaucratic reasons.
      Weeks trial is probably for paperwork in case there are issues and they have to be removed.
      Then Monthly because peoples situations change over time.

      I would say an organisation like that would be open for discrimination lawsuits if they didn’t follow the same procedures with everyone.

    3. Stating the bloody obvious

      In case she starts working before the weeks out and can afford to pay rent somewhere.

      1. Cian

        Yeah, legislation needs to be introduced to reduce the number of Airbnb homes (either by a complete ban, restricting the number of nights/year; licencing it, or taxing the fupp out of the proceeds) ;

        …along with a trawl by Revenue of the people currently leasing their property – to ensure they are fully tax compliant.

          1. Cian

            nope – a balanced approach – if airbnb is distorting the property market (“Dublin: putting tourists into houses and homeless people in hotels”) and it is having a detrimental affect on property – that needs to be addressed.

            I know I come across as a mad FGer – but I’m not wedded to any party – I see myself as a pragmatist, and at the moment I still think FG is better than any of the (viable) alternatives. They are by no means perfect, but no party is.

            I’m also a smidgeon contrary, willing to voice unpopular opinion, and get angry at misused (or made-up) statistics; and since the majority of ‘popular’ BS stories are anti-government I end up defending it quite a bit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  1. Rob_G

    The more I hear from Anthony Flynn, the more he seems to me like an egoist with more interest in pursuing his grudge against the government/DCC than in working to tackle the homeless crisis.

    1. scottser

      the established homeless service providers like simon, focus et al are locked into service level agreements with the local authorities to provide housing and homeless supports. ICHH isn’t so a local authority doesn’t have to explain anything about a family’s placement or circumstances to them. the family in question should now be provided with a keyworker from one of the established providers who again should be accumulating evidence and reports advocating for a more appropriate long-term housing solution for her and her family in a more structured way. you wouldn’t see focus or mcverry posting those kind of pictures on social media, the individuals would be sacked.

        1. scottser

          there’s usually a tender process. otherwise they can provide the service in accommodations they own themselves. ICHH could apply under CAS funding to build or purchase units if they wanted to.

      1. Cian

        “ICHH isn’t so a local authority doesn’t have to explain anything about a family’s placement or circumstances to them”

        I’d go further and suggest that the local authority CAN’T provide details to ICHH due to GDPR and other data protection issues.

        But as Brother B says below – an obvious solution would seem to be to add ICHH to their ‘official’ suppliers and get an SLA in place.

  2. Worlds Biggest Ranter

    I’m gonna get slammed by the do-gooders but seriously a little bit of self responsibility here. This isn’t homelessness as we used to know it. This is a dereliction of respect for all aspects of good sensible living. herself, her kids and the expectation level of what the state (read us) should be doing for her. Welfare is supposed to be a a safety net not a way of life. You made some bad decisions, we all do. Sure we need a catch net but exactly that, a catch net and nothing else.

    This is utter contempt for sensible living. Stop having kids if you’ve no support mechanism. Its what the rest of us have to do. Seriously these people have to start understanding its not up to the rest of us to make sure they’re alright no matter how irresponsible they are.

    1. Starina

      The last two children were conceived while she was on the coil. Her contraception failed her. She is on a waiting list to get her tubes tied. There is no abortion here yet and it’s too expensive to go to England (not to mention the logistics of getting a babysitter for >24hrs for multiple children).

      1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

        Ah well that explains it so. Sure isnt it a wonder every family doesn’t have 10 or 12 kids!

        Fup me.

          1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

            Didnt take long.

            Sorry, I wanted to be back in with an answer quicker but I was waaaay too busy generating enough tax to pay for your illicit lifestyle and misdemeanours which is probably my fault anyway. Poor thing.

      2. Rob_G

        I mean, that’s very unfortunate, but perhaps she would have money to pay for these things herself from the €40k plus change that she nets from the taxpayer each year if she didn’t go spending €1k on communion dresses.

      3. Truth in the News

        She has produced a fine group of children at an age under 30…long may
        she continue to conceive, although it does seem a form of “miraculous
        conception” as there is no sight of the male partner, how come he’s is not
        included in Miriam’s photo……..?

    2. AssPants


      Welfare is exactly that, a safety net until you get yourself out of the difficulty you found yourself in. Your life and how you live is your responsibility and nobody else.

      Should I go sleep in a Garda station until I get the property I want, as I am sick on my 3hour commute and the €600 per month in petrol and tolls?

        1. AssPants

          I won’t get a pension as I am stupidly self employed (providing or myself DC, probably and unfamiliar structure to you with all your welfare benefits) and I won’t get child benefit as I stupidly didn’t have children.

          So what have you done for Ms Cash and her seven fatherless children?

          Still full of questions DC…..

          In addition those of us who work contribute to the welfare system for those in a “time” of need, unlike your beloved Ms Cash who appears to be relishing the media attention. Did you give her a bed for her children DC????

          1. Cian

            I don’t know your circumstances but:
            If you are living in Ireland you should be entitled to a pension (if you need it) the non-contributory pension is means tested.
            If you are self-employed and paid Class S PRSI you should be entitled to the contributory state Pension.

      1. Starina

        I’ve never been on Welfare (because I wanted citizenship and that kind of thing counts against you during the application process). Should I be judging people who have gamed the system by going on the dole?

    3. JunkFace

      I agree, she was irresponsible having 7 kids. After 3 did she not think “Maybe we should use condoms until I get a better job, or my partner does”. Expecting everyone else to pay for her bad decisions is incredibly selfish and ridiculous. A lot of people put off having kids, because they feel that their working life and home are not stable enough. And Ireland is one of the most expensive places in the world to bring up kids! No planning at all.

    4. Joe Small

      Well, we would be seriously stretched financially having 2 kids, with crèche fees etc. Someone commented the other day, “oh, so only rich people can have kids now?” Obviously not, but if we have to think about the cost of having and raising kids ourselves, why shouldn’t others?

      1. scottser

        it’s never the ‘right time’ to have kids. for most, it’s a leap of faith rather than a definite plan..

  3. dan

    My brother has a wife and 6 kids (4 boys and 2 girls). he pays his mortgage but can’t afford to build on or to move to a 4 bed house. Currently there are 5 sons sleeping in one room. That’s 2 sets of bunks and a bed between them, no storage space whatsoever.
    Serious question, what support and assistance are available to him?

    Strikes me that he should follow MArgaret Cash’s lead and sell his house then declare himself and his family homeless. That’s what she did, sold her mobile home and declared hersefl homeless.
    Would it work for my hard working brother and his family?

    Anthony Flynn, any thoughts on the above?

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Are you too selfish to help your brother? Maybe he shouldn’t have had kids he couldn’t afford, that’s what people are saying about Margaret Cash.

      1. AssPants

        What about you DaisyChain, are you too selfish to help the bleeding heart of Margaret Cash who prostituted her children for her own benefit.

        Where is Ms Cash’s partner/s in all this where is the father/s of the 7 children…………??????

        Nothing is free in this country, especially if you are dumb enough to work for a living.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          Do you have children? How much child benefit do you scrounge off the state?

          Her partner is in prison for assault. No word on whether his partner or children were victims of that assault though.

          1. Christopher

            If either she or the children were the victim then we would have heard about that LONG ago as it helps the narrative of the poor helpless homeless woman and her kids being let down by the state.

          2. dan

            A father in jail for beating someone up and a mother with a conviction for stealing.
            Shoudl the kids be in care?

          3. Nigel

            Let’s not crowdsource the internet for decisions on family seperation, things are dystopian enough.

    2. Barry the Hatchet

      Serious answer: Child Benefit of €840 per month. Plus other social welfare supports, depending on their income levels.

      1. JLK

        Child benefit of €980 per month
        Plus approx €1680 per month lone parents with qualified increase for children. So over €2600 per month.

        Also rent subsidy would amount to €1500-2000.

        It can pay to have kids on welfare

        Still these kids need to be looked after no matter what your view on the matter. They need beds to sleep in.

      2. dan

        I agree BArry, just seems unfair that those who try get nothing yet those who steal and beat up people get everything.
        If you can;t afford the kids don;t have them

        1. Barry the Hatchet

          That’s pretty reasonable advice, Dan. But here’s the thing: it’s too late for that. These children already exist. They have done nothing wrong. They did not choose this situation. And they deserve better from us than people turning their backs and telling them they can’t have any help because their mother is an irresponsible slut. Forget about her. And forget about yourself. This is about seven children who deserve a good start in life.

          Also, just to point out again, “those who try” don’t get nothing. Your brother, who should perhaps have taken your advice instead of having six kids he can’t afford, gets €840 a month.

    3. Starina

      Why didn’t they stop having kids after they had two if he can’t afford to move? Pretty irresponsible.

    4. Daisy Chainsaw

      Also, you can’t keep your story straight. First there’s 4 boys, then there’s 5. If you’re going to make shoight up, try to be consistent!

    1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

      I wasn’t go to say. There is a delicious irony alright. Either end of the spectrum doing considerably better for themselves out of the state than they would in any other similar sized (or larger for that matter) European country. Embracing each other in a victorious statement of solidarity is almost sickening. Well when I say “embracing” I meant paraded by Saint Miriam.

  4. SB

    I feel sorry for all the other deserving cases that she has leapfrogged on the housing list through astute use of the media

    1. Starina

      The system is insufficient if one has to use the media to get the help they need. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

      1. Cian

        Yes, the system is lacking – but it is a zero-sum situation.

        She has gamed the system to get ahead of a different families that should have that home.

        (or there is no housing crisis in Dublin and she would have been first on the list – and nobody else in her priority band is currently waiting for a 3-bed)*

          1. Cian

            I’m not judging who should and shouldn’t.

            There is a process that decides the order people get available homes (this was discussed yesterday). That process should decide who gets the next available home… not getting on the front page of the national press.

            I am judging her on gaming the system – because that is blatantly unfair on the (unknown) family that should have that home.

    2. scottser

      she’s 11 years on the housing list, hardly ‘leapfrogging’ is it?
      besides, what has been offered here is emergency accommodation.

      1. JLK

        Why are 17-18 year olds who are fit n healthy allowed on housing lists?? Makes it impossible for the genuine in need cases.

        1. scottser

          because in order to qualify for social housing support such as rent supplement, HAP etc you need to have your housing need assessed. so it’s possible that an 18 year old apprentice say, could qualify for rental assistance under HAP.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      I hope she settles into the new home. A week on week assessment allows for some breathing space. Night on night assessment must be a nightmare. Imagine not knowing where you’ll be staying from one day to the next? Horrific for anyone in that situation, not just for a woman with children.

      1. dan

        I’ll give her a month before she decides it doesn’t meet her needs.
        By the way, her kids were sleeping on the seats is ome phots and on the floor on duvets in other photos, all totally stagemanaged.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          How are your four or is it five nephews doing in their one room?

          I’ll give you a couple of days before you’re back making up stuff about your “family”

    1. Rob

      Yep, move them out of Dublin all together. If their support system cant assist then the support system reason for staying in Dublin should be null and void.

  5. rotide

    Can I have a 3 bed flat in town please? It would be extra nice to not have to actually pay anything for it. Cool.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      How do you know she won’t be paying anything for it?

      Did your parents not get a “free house” to raise you in?

      1. rotide

        Because she doesn’t have a job.

        Nope, they paid for it with money from work while managing not to have 7 kids.

    2. scottser

      i never took you for one of them, rotide. i always credited you with a smidge more nous than that..

      1. rotide

        Yeah, I fully realise that i sound like the most right wing poohead this side of the FG ard fheis but as someone who recently went through extreme amounts of ballache relocating to a new place which is costing me a fortune, this struck a nerve.

        This isn’t a sob story about being laid off and breadwinners dying and finding yourself in dire straits, from everything Ive read about this has been waiting to happen for 12 years. Maybe I’m wrong and I’m being a heartless beast but this absolutely seems like a textbook case of sponging off the state.

        1. Scundered

          Totally agree with you, just one giant example of being irresponsible and it shouldn’t be rewarded.

          1. Barry the Hatchet

            What do you suggest should happen to those seven kids then, Scundered? I can’t wait to hear your constructive solution, which doesn’t reward “irresponsible behaviour” but also doesn’t punish innocent children.

        2. D

          To be entirely unsympathetic to everybody: it is way cheaper to pay her 50 grand a year than take the kids off her.

    3. Nigel

      Do you want to be constantly living on the poverty line threatened by an ever-worsening homelessness crisis because they can throw that in for nothing.

  6. Dermie

    WOW. So that’s all it takes to get a three bedroom gaff in the city center. Stick your kids in a Garda station for a couple of nights. Send the pics to the Irish Indo. Do a couple of heart wrenching interviews (again with the Irish Indo) and there you go, here’s your keys and enjoy the free gaff

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      I was raised in a “free gaff” on a 100 odd housing estate of “free gaffs”. Back then we called them “corpo estates” and the “free gaff” came with a weekly rent bill. Not all of us were fortunate enough to have Mummy and Daddy raise us in a castle with servants and nannies like you, darling.

  7. Cú Chulainn

    Ah, I see the gaming worked. In one sense a great mother. I was from a remarkably similar background so I know that you do whatever you have to. But make no mistake. There are a family out in the cold somewhere else in Dublin because of her actions and the whole process is in disrepute.

    1. nellyb

      Gaming is how elections are won, how stock market operates, how celebrities make money – why wouldn’t she do the same to benefit her 7 children? Focus on “moral barriers” of the poor seems more intense than focus on the same of the rest. Immortal attitude everywhere.

      1. Cian

        And BS commentators are very quick to call out these other forms of gaming too:

        remember Paddy Wotsname and Le Pen yesterday?

  8. Paul Flynn

    Great to see she has somewhere. Gorgeous kids, obviously well reared (unlike some commentators here) – she seems like a good mother.

  9. Elron

    Ireland is great. Looking after our own. It might take us a while, but we get there because despite the knockers on here, we are actually a decent society. In the US, she would be in her car or on the streets.

    1. Johnny

      Nah you don’t encounter homeless moms and kids,certainly not in LA or NY.If she was an illegal immigrant the family would have been separated with the kids “lost” in the system !
      Being irish and spending a lot of time overseas,it’s great it makes you proud to be Irish,that society hasn’t completely failed this mom and her lovely kids.
      Well done Ireland and all her many supporters.

  10. Bort

    Fair play to her, I hope the kids get the best they can get. I think the people this rubs up the wrong way the most are people who work hard and are struggling with 1 or 2 kids, due to rent and cost of child care. Or the people who work hard and are terrified they can’t afford to have one kid. I am on the brink of resolvoing that my wife and I are not going to be able to naturally have a child. We’ve both been working all our lives, privately renting 10+ years in Dublin. Currently trying to save for a deposit, about a year away from having what we need. Only in the last few years have we been financially sound to have a baby, we have been having trouble conceiving. Only recently after much consultations privately that has cost us into the thousands we have found out that my wife requires surgery that will cost about 3 grand. We both have private health insurance but fertility treatment not covered. The public waiting list will be 2+ years, it was 8 months to see the public consultant. So my wife will be 38 when she begins any treatment, so we’ll be biting the bullet and dipping into our savings, no guarantees, prices will escalate no doubt and we’ll be set way back in our savings plans.

    I’m happy for the Cash family, but feck it, What about me? The “squeezed middle”. Paying a fortune in rent, struggling to save for deposits, a lot of people are not happy to have a child until they own their own home as you have crappy rights as a renter. What about hard workers who can’t afford to have 1 child?

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Good luck. Tip: try the Czech Republic for treatment. Worked for me, first time, after a LOAD of cash flushed down the toilet here. And it was MUCH cheaper. And you get a holiday. Win win.

    2. Rob_G

      When people say “well, what’s it you if someone decides to have 7 kids and have everyone else pay for it” – it is people like Bort who end up paying for it on top of their own financial worries.

      I hope it works out for you and your partner, Bort, I really do.

  11. Spud

    7 kids.
    Fella in jail.
    Making the headlines for days and everyone’s having their say about her.
    All this publicity…

    I’m surprised she hasn’t been signed up for a reality show or perhaps she should be commanding her own YouTube channel or something at this rate.

  12. Anne

    Smiling away in her Nike designer gear while I sit in work head to toe in Pennies finest. No wonder she looks so happy.

      1. Anne

        It’s designer and it’s expensive. I know this as I looked into getting something similar but it was too dear. More fool me working instead of just doing whatever I want and sponging off the state.

  13. Frilly Keane

    Cheezus t’night

    ye really are (mostly)
    a shower of nasty intolerant gits
    FU Jacks all over the gaff

    Including meself btw
    could manage a fortnight in her shoes

    she managed to keep her family together without HSE interfering or what have ya
    and they all look thriving t’me
    and she’s as good looking and slender as any of the other ladies around here lately
    from RDS and Galway facinators t’ Roses running around the gaff

    1. ReproButina

      ‘Tis true. Reading some comments it’s not hard to see how the laundries lasted so long.

  14. Lilly

    @Bort Consider emigrating to somewhere like Prague or Lisbon. You are working to pay someone else’s mortgage and the stress is obviously taking its toll. Seize life, not this BS.

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