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Woman at centre of Bray Town Council sit-in protest speaks out

1 June, 2013

Two homeless mothers and Councillor John Brady are now entering their second day of a sit in at the offices of Bray Town Council. The two women, who between them have six young children had been staying at a hostel in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.

On Friday afternoon at 4.30pm they visited the Council offices asking for alternative short term emergency accommodation. They were told no such measures exist and that council policy is to refer those presenting as homeless to the hostel.

One of the women, Lesley Smith, has now waived her anonymity and is appealing to the council to provide a solution.

Speaking this afternoon from the council offices she said;

“We just want a resolution at this stage. I do not want to bring my three young children back to the homeless hostel in Rathdrum. It is unsuitable.  We do not feel safe there. My children are scared, there is no security and we get locked in at night. I have to make my way to Bray to get the children to school each morning and then travel into Dublin city centre where I work. 

“I am not trying to jump the queue in the council house waiting list. I was on a RAS scheme that ended and have documentation to show that the council could not provide me with another RAS placement.

“I have been left with no choice but to protest to try and protect my children. There should be emergency accommodation in Bray for people who have children.”

Councillor John Brady of Sinn Féin said he is remaining with the women as a show of support, not as a personal protest.

“This is about six young innocent children being sent to stay in a hostel miles away from their schools and friends. They do not feel safe in that environment. The council has been providing private security and yet we are being told there is no money to accommodate these women and children.

“I am calling on the Council to bring about a resolution and provide a commitment to engage with these women. We do not want to still be here on Tuesday morning but will stay as long as it takes for the council to take the plight of these women, their children and others like them seriously.”


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