Belfast Telegraph

Housing Minister sent 3,826 postcards to symbolise number of homeless children

Workers’ Party councillor Eilis Ryan accused Government of lacking political will to solve homelessness

Workers’ Party of Ireland housing campaigners at Leinster House (Brian Lawless/PA)
Workers’ Party of Ireland housing campaigners at Leinster House (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Aine McMahon PA

A total of 3,826 postcards will be presented or posted to the Housing Minister to symbolise each child in the country experiencing homelessness this Christmas.

Housing campaigners from the Workers’ Party of Ireland held a giant printed postcard addressed to Eoghan Murphy together with numbers to depict the 3,826 figure.

The latest homeless figures show that there were 6,688 homeless adults (4,534 in Dublin), an 11.5% increase since the same month last year.

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Tom McKeon, a Workers’ Party of Ireland housing campaigner at Leinster House (Brian Lawless/PA)

The number of children in emergency accommodation fell by 47 after a record high figure in September, with a total of 3,826 homeless children.

Mr Murphy survived a vote of no confidence in the Dail earlier this month.

Workers’ Party councillor Eilis Ryan said the Government lacks the political will to solve homelessness.

“We’re sending these postcards today to remind Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy that there are more than 3,000 children without a home this Christmas and who will not have a dinner table to sit around and eat Christmas dinner,” she said.

“The Government could solve the housing crisis overnight but they are in thrall to landlords and lack the political will,” she said.

Workers’ Party councillor Ted Tynan said: “Somebody mentioned the idea to us a few weeks ago that we would organise a public campaign to highlight to the Minister in black and white how bad this homeless crisis has become and how many children are being affected on his watch.

“Some of the postcards have been sent directly to the minister and we are handing the rest of them directly here today into Government building.”

The postcard addressed to Mr Murphy reads: “Dear Minister Murphy, this Christmas eve, 3286 children will go to be homeless. Because of the policies of your Fine Gael government, they don’t have a bed to call their own or a tree to put their presents under.

“This is not inevitable. It is a political choice to put the interests of landlords, vulture funds and property developers ahead of children in this country.

“In 2020, we can solve the housing crisis by building pubic housing on public land, That is the only that those 3286 children will have a home this Christmas. Signed, the People of Ireland.”

PA

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