How many homeless children does it take to make Government act? – Ó Laoghaire
Speaking on figures released by Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Sinn Féin TD and Children and Youth Affairs spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire expressed his disappointment at the lack of action being taken by the Government to quell the crisis.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:
“The 2,020 children now living in homeless accommodation in Dublin are indicative of the wider malaise that we know exists within Irish society. It’s very worrying that these numbers have yet to see any slowdown, and that increases seemed to be presented to us in every quarterly report published.
“The figures for July of this year are almost a 100% increase on what they were in the same month of last year. What number of children do we need to reach before the Government treats this as the crisis that it truly is?
“Just last month the Simon Community in my own city, and the Ministers home constituency, of Cork reported an 800% increase in rough sleepers over a 5 year period. A society should always be judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens; and using that metric, this government must hang its head in shame.
“The Government's action plan, while it contains some welcome measures, does not go nearly far enough, and will not be enough to deal with the Housing crisis. Right now there is very little comfort for those who lie on our streets watching the months pass them by, nor the children that sleep in homeless accommodation or cramped hotel rooms night after night.
“Short term interventions are required immediately if we are to say that we are dealing with this issue in any sort of effective way. The Minister must step up to the plate in this regard.”