Tallaght Garda station last night
Homeless family of seven forced to sleep in garda station (RTÉ)
Earlier: The Mask of Sorrow
On RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Miriam O’Callaghan.
Ms O’Callaghan spoke to Anthony Flynn, of Inner City Helping Homeless.
Before starting Ms O’Callaghan said RTE had confirmed that three homeless families, including 16 children, slept in Garda stations last night.
Mr Flynn said:
“Your confirmation on families that slept in Garda stations – those are the families that actually chose to attend the Garda stations last night. The other families didn’t choose. Some may have slept in cars, some of them may have slept with relatives but there was up to eight families last night that were refused accommodation.
“…The pictures have shocked people that have seen them over the last couple of hours, particularly this morning. But this is the norm, Miriam. And people don’t realise that this is the norm.
“Last month, 48 families were referred to Garda stations through the statutory bodies. The month before, 47 families were referred to Garda stations throughout the month through the statutory bodies. And what’s happening is we have an over reliance now on the private hotel sector and B&Bs in order to accommodate families throughout the summer period or indeed through any period of the year.
“The fact is that this over reliance is about to burst. And more and more people are entering Dublin. The hotel trade is booming, you know, tourist trade is booming. The hotels don’t really want these families here any more. It’s a case that they need to be moved on.
“We’ve a papal visit in two weeks’ time. We’ve 500,000 people that are going to enter the country and we have a major fear that this is going to continue to happen over the coming weeks.
“What people need to realise is that this is not uncommon to us, this is stuff that we’ve been seeing and had been forecasted now for a long time in regard to the end of hotel usage or hotels getting busier and not enough hotel space to accommodate people.
“And I suppose last night was just an indictment really on the fact that we’re not moving people out of services quick enough and that 7 young children have to end up sleeping in a garda station last night.”
Ms O’Callaghan later read out a statement she had just received from the Dublin City Council. It said:
“On the night of the 8th of August 2018, an unprecedented number of families presented out of hours, seeking emergency accommodation. We were notified by the family homeless action team that they were actively engaged with 10 families who were unable to source their own accommodation.
“Our central placement team were able to source emergency accommodation for five of those families – one family refused the offer of accommodation, two of their families were linked back into their region and two did not seek further assistance.”
Listen back in full here
UPDATE: “I’m Assuming They’re One Of The Families That Didn’t Seek Further Assistance”