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Minister dodging question on state failure of Children in Emergency Accommodation – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

13 December, 2016 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has raised questions as to why Minister Zappone has refused to accept a priority question tabled for oral answer tomorrow concerning children in emergency accommodation.

The question related to the report of the Special Rapporteur On Child Protection, which stated that Ireland was failing in its international obligations to protect these children in relation to their right to housing

Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;

“I had intended to ask Minister to respond to comments in the 9th Report of the Special Rapporteur for Children that the state is failing to deliver on the right of Children to adequate Housing, and protection against forced evictions, and that consequently it is in breach of its international obligations due to the numbers of children in emergency accommodation.

"It is important to note that this is a report which is published annually, under the auspices of her Department.

“The Minister has answered many similar questions to TDs previously, however, appears to have felt that this question did not fall within her remit, and was therefore not her responsibility. I absolutely disagree, the Minister should be in a position to comment on reports on Child Protection.

 “I believe this to be an issue of absolute importance, and feel that the minister should not have absolved herself from having to face a question on this. I was hoping the minister could comment on this report and specifically its findings and that these comments could be placed on the public record.

"In July of this year the Minister stated that “as a member of the Government sitting around the Cabinet table, working with all my colleagues to ensure the plan (Rebuilding Ireland) is implemented, regardless of whether it is inside or outside the brief, our ambition is to have no children dependent on emergency accommodation within a year.

“We are now six months on since the Minister made these comments and numbers have risen in that time, being close to 2,500 children in emergency accommodation at present.

“The fact that many of these children will spend their second, and in some cases, third Christmas in a hotel room is a banging indictment of a failure on the part of the state."

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