The 1970s style childhood ruinations of Australian illustrator Steven Rhodes.
At a protest against the homeless and housing crisis on Dublin’s O’Connell Street last November
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
Dr Geraldine Casey, from the HSE’s Department of Public Health in Limerick, spoke to Dr Gavin Jennings about new research she led into the long-term effect of homelessness on children in Limerick.
The most recent figures from the Department of Housing state there were 3,422 children living in homeless accommodation, as of the final week in December 2019.
Dr Casey said:
“The actual physical space that children are growing up in is affecting their development. So, if you think about a child living in a hotel room they can always have their hand to something at all times. So actually they don’t know if a lot of the children can walk independently or not.
“Or a child doesn’t have the chance to walk independently. So they’re seeing that children are delayed in their physical development because of the homeless situation that they’re in and the environment that they’re placed in.
“So last year 278 children in Limerick were housed in hotel rooms and another 250 in homeless hubs so it’s a significant number of children and a significant affect on them.”
“This study didn’t specifically look at that [the difference between family hubs and hotels]. We were just, I suppose this was an initial exercise and scoping, asking people what they thought the issues were. But I suppose a hotel room would be seen to be a worse environment than a homeless hub would be because hubs would provide much more space.
“Some of the hubs are actual apartments and other ones are rooms with shared and communal living.”
Dr Casey added:
“Another issue with the physical space is one service provider described a child having to do their homework on the toilet, sitting inside in the en suite because the younger children were asleep and so the lights needed to be turned off in the main room.
“And really I suppose there was a lot of issues with that, with affecting children’s education. So such is the trauma that children are experiencing they find it difficult to engage with education as well as the difficulties with just actually getting to school in the morning, if you’re placed in hub which is placed far away from where you live [sic].”
“…we know that when children experience trauma in childhood that this will, can have an affect on their physical and mental health into the future.
“…that affect of the homelessness will last into the future and will impact on children’s health.”
“…there is growing research on adverse childhood experiences and homelessness for a young child is a traumatic experience so it absolutely would have affects. There are things that can mitigate those affects such as having strong relationships and having stability and obviously children who are placed in a homeless environment don’t have that stability.
“So we would have to, you know, look into helping them in the future with reducing those effects.”
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Four Courts, Dublin
Mary Carolan, in The Irish Times, reports:
“A separated father of three with joint custody and access rights has won a significant Supreme Court appeal over Dublin City Council’s categorisation of him on its housing list as a one-person household.
“…The five judge court’s unanimous ruling has implications for more than 800 separated persons in similar situations on the council’s housing list who were treated as single person households, meaning a lower Housing Assistant Payment (HAP), after their former partner was categorised as a larger household with a larger HAP.
“…The children stay with their father three nights weekly in his one bed apartment and spend the other four nights with their mother in a larger unit.
“He gets €990 monthly Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), a single person’s rate while she gets a larger HAP as a separated mother.”
Artist’s impression of the council-approved site for a €22million white-water rafting course at George’s Dock on the North Quay in Dublin
I know we promised to extend the house so that you wouldn’t have to live in the shed any more but we have decided to build a swimming pool for you instead.
As members of the family you will only have to pay a small fee to use it.
Your loving father and mother.
Previously: White Water Shafting
Newstalk journalist Eoghan Murphy tweetz:
Tusla has been notified of 116 children being seriously injured in childcare services this year, along with five children going missing and two deaths – one in a childcare centre and one after being transferred to hospital. Breakdown of details [above], released under FoI.
Every Child Is Your Child is a Limerick-based community group which aims to raise funds for parents living in Direct Provision.
They’re currently running a backpack drive across Ireland to collect school items for children living in Direct Provision.
“This is a backpack drive for young school goers living in direct provision. We are collecting stationery items, copies, uniform items for all ages (white / blue shirts, black / grey / navy trousers, white/red/ blue golf t-shirts, shoes / runners, gift cards ( One4All, Tesco, Dunnes, etc), new backpacks/school bags, lunch bags, boxes, reusable water/juice bottles.
“There are currently over 2000 children living in the direct provision system in Ireland. Parents struggle to meet the expenses associated with back to school expenses as majority have been excluded from availing of the right to work permit therefore forced to try to make ends meet on €38.80 per week.”
Aoife Quinn and Seán Quinn Junior on their way to the Four Courts today
The first day of the case taken by businessman Sean Quinn’s five children against Irish Bank Resolution Corporation – centring on €2.34bn in loans given by the then Anglo Irish Bank to Quinn companies – began this morning.
The case is expected to last six months while 49 witnesses are expected to give evidence.
— Aisling Kenny (@KennyAKE) February 13, 2019
Outside the Dáil.
Children gathered to protest against climate change.
Principal Mary Mother of Hope Senior School in Littlepace, Dublin 15, Enda McGorman
On RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.
Journalist Evelyn O’Rourke reported on homeless children who go to school hungry because the breakfast area at their place of accommodation isn’t open in time for them to eat before leaving for school.
[The most recent Department of Housing figures show that, as of the final week in September, 3,829 children were living in staying in State-funded emergency accommodation across the country]
Ms O’Rourke visited the Mary Mother of Hope Senior School in Littlepace, Dublin 15, and met the school’s principal Enda McGorman who is also a member of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network.
Mr McGorman told Ms O’Rourke:
“It’s a growing concern for me and school principals…One area that we’re really, really worried about is the effect that homelessness and the homeless crisis is having on children in school. The immediate effects that it’s having on school children, it’s really alarming and it’s at a basic level.
“One family that we’re trying to support – their B&B was in town. So to get transport out here, the children had to be on a bus so early that the breakfast bar wasn’t open for them. So they would come to school hungry.
“…And I think one of the other issues for us, it’s so silent, maybe not always here until kids maybe are already homeless and already in a place that they can’t back to school to and then we see absenteeism or we see lateness and we start to query it, where parents are either through fear or shame, forget or don’t wish to share it with us.
“I’m just thinking in the last month, I’ve written three letters for families to say ‘I know this family, they’re a good solid family, please afford them the opportunity to rent your house’.
“Because they’ll go to view a house and there could be 100 families waiting ahead of them. So you never thought you’d be doing that as a school principal, to try and support people who you’ve known and whose children you’ve known…these are some of the realities that we’re dealing with that we never thought we’d be dealing with.
“Another concern we have is homework. And ‘how can I do my homework if I’m lying on the floor?’. One of the families that we’re supporting were living in one of these, it wouldn’t be quite a hotel standard, but it was surrounded by roundabouts, on the periphery of a motorway and even accessing it, getting in and getting out of there, there’s no public transport.
“So the family were literally trapped there. There’s no way those children were going to get to our school. And no prospect of them leaving it either.”
Mr McGorman also said he has often been approached by parents who go to him for help after they’ve received eviction letters.
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