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139 sleeping rough in Dublin

At least 139 people are sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin.

Dublin Region Homeless Executive said the number of homeless people sleeping outdoors soared on its winter counter night, from 94 in April.

I t said approximately 80 new temporary beds are being opened across the capital by the four local council and homeless agencies to meet demand.

Volunteers did the head count one night last month.

Latest figures show 80% were men, 14% women and 6% whose sex was unknown.

More than half were Irish and 87 had previously accessed homeless accommodation and received support, 17 were new to homeless services and no information was available for the remaining 35.

A quarter - 34 - were aged 18 to 30, 37 were aged 31 to 40, 31 were aged 41 to 50, 12 were aged 51 to 60, three were over 60. The age of 22 others was not known.

An estimated 5,000 people are homeless nationwide, with the majority in emergency accommodation .

The Peter McVerry Trust said the rough sleeper figures were disappointing and unacceptable.

"The figures clearly indicate that the homeless situation remains extremely challenging but it is a challenge that Peter McVerry Trust is determined to address," chief executive Pat Doyle said.

"It is important to recognise that in order to tackle homelessness we need to work in partnership."

The trust has increased its bed capacity in recent weeks fearing an upsurge in rough sleepers and now offers space for 265 individuals a night.

It has provided 10 new beds for homeless couples, the first time the trust has offered the service, and another 12 beds for young homeless people aged 18-26. The trust is aiming to increeae its service to take in almost 300 people a night.

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