Dublin 'could soon become Europe's homeless capital'

A homeless charity said it recorded the highest ever rough sleeper count on the streets of Dublin last night.

Inner City Helping Homeless said 154 were sleeping rough on the city's streets.

These numbers were recorded by four ICHH outreach teams covering both north and south inner areas last night.

The group has called on the Government to take action to deal with the crisis.

Speaking after coming off the streets last night, ICHH director Anthony Flynn said: "This is an unacceptable number which is constantly on the increase, and depicts a worrying trend.

"The sheer lack of intervention in regard to the homeless crisis now requires urgent attention from Government and Junior Minister Jan O ‘Sullivan.

"We no longer need promises we need direct action to solve the problem. We need investment in long term housing units for rough sleepers rather than short term beds that are clearly over stretched.

"The Minister needs to address this immediately or Dublin will soon become Europe’s homeless capital."

Minister Jan O'Sullivan later said that the Government is working to tackle the issue.

"I am very concerned and have been for some time about the whole issue of homelessness - and it's something that I said when I became Minister that I wanted to end long-term homelessness," she said.

"We're working on that, we have an implementation plan now.

"But the idea that people have to sleep out on the streets is not acceptable to me and we're determined to take the actions that are necessary."

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