Belfast Telegraph

Homeless mother and six children forced to sleep at Garda station

All emergency lines for homeless shelters and local hotels reported they were full.

A young mother and her six children, including a baby, were forced to sleep in a Dublin Garda station on Wednesday night due to lack of emergency accommodation.

The children aged from one to 11 years old were forced to sleep on plastic seating in Tallaght station as all emergency lines for homeless shelters and local hotels reported they were full.

Homeless advocacy groups say up to eight families were referred to Garda stations on Wednesday night, and that someone must be held accountable.

The family were cared for during the night by the members working and received a hot breakfast this morning in Tallaght Garda spokesman

A Garda spokesman confirmed that the young family presented as homeless with nowhere to go.

He said: “I can confirm a young mother and her six children, aged from 11 years to one year, presented at Tallaght Garda Station during the night as they had nowhere to go.

“Members of An Garda Síochána tried all the emergency lines in relation to homeless shelter and no accommodation was located, a number of local hotels were also phoned.

“The family were cared for during the night by the members working and received a hot breakfast this morning in Tallaght.

“The family have now left the Garda station and are on the way to South Dublin Co-Council, Housing Department.”

The Department of Housing has been approached for comment.

Labour Party housing spokeswoman Jan O’Sullivan TD called on the Government to do more to tackle the crisis.

Deputy O’Sullivan said: “It is deeply disturbing to hear reports about homeless children having to sleep in Garda stations.

“This is not the first time we have heard stories like this and unless something is done to put children at the heart of our State’s response to homelessness, it won’t be the last.

“There seems to be little urgency around reducing the number of children who are homeless, we can see from figures released from the Department of Housing that the numbers of homeless children are on the rise.

“The law needs to be changed to put the best interests of the child at the heart of any action taken.”

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