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Death of 55 homeless people demonstrates that Government is continuing to fail the most vulnerable - Ó Snodaigh

11 December, 2007

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh, speaking following the revelation by the Simon Community that at least 55 homeless people had died in 2006, said that these needless deaths demonstrated in stark terms the impact of the failure of the Government to eliminate homelessness and to address the housing and health needs of the homeless.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The annual report of the Simon Community highlights the fact that 55 homeless who had used the services of the Simon Community died in 2006. Many of these people were in the prime of their lives - the average age of those who died was only 42. This is a disgrace.

"That in Ireland, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, government is failing to make any significant progress towards the elimination of homelessness is shameful indictment of their social policy priorities.

"The services simply have not been put in place to address the needs of homeless people - including health and mental health services, and drug rehabilitation facilities. Last weeks budget did not deliver on these issues. It is all too clear that there is no will to tackle homelessness or the underlying causes of homelessness. The Government is continuing to fail the most vulnerable." ENDS

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