Lord Mayor admits some families will have to leave emergency accommodation during Pope's visit

Update 4pm: The Lord Mayor of Dublin says he is confident no homeless families will have to sleep in Garda stations during the Pope's visit.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring.

Margaret Cash and six of her young kids had to do just that in Tallaght on Wednesday night because they had nowhere else to go.

Nial Ring does not think there will be a repeat of the situation when Pope Francis comes here later this month.

But he has admitted some families will have to leave their emergency accommodation in hotels and B&Bs to make way for the thousands of tourists expected in the capital.

There are plans in place. He is here for 36 hours, one night. Some people may be out of their accommodation as we have seen but I am confident we certainly won't see anything like Wednesday night, he said.

Earlier: Charity bosses forced to deny photo of children sleeping in garda station was staged

Charity bosses have been forced to deny that photos of a homeless family sleeping in a Garda Station were 'staged'.

There has been a backlash on social media since pictures emerged of Margaret Cash and six of her children spending the night on benches in Tallaght station in Dublin on Wednesday.

Six children aged from one to 11 years old were forced to sleep on seating in Tallaght Garda Station last night as all emergency lines for homeless shelters and local hotels reported they were full. Pic Facebook.

The family had been unable to find suitable emergency housing however they have now been given temporary accommodation.

The photos led to widespread criticism of the Housing Minister, but there are others who accused charity reps of staging the scene to elicit sympathy.

Brian McLoughlin of Inner City Helping Homelessness says they would never use tactics like that.

"When you have people that are actually thinking in that way - to think that a volunteer organisation who are doing it seven nights a week, 365 days a year - would actually go to the effort of putting children through that to prove a point, I think that says a lot about society," said Mr McLoughlin.

"Fortunately we have a huge amount of supporters who were out in support of Margaret and her kids and all of the other families that are in that situation."

Yesterday, Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless said there was an over-reliance by the Government on the private rental market to provide emergency beds.

We're not seeing an end to this crisis...We need to be results-driven and the Minister needs to be accountable.

He added that the numbers of tourists in Dublin mean the B&B and hotel accommodation that provides a release valve at other times of the year, is largely booked up and unavailable during the summer. Sporting events and this month's Papal visit will put further pressure on short-term accommodation in the city, with a knock-on effect on homeless families' efforts to find emergency beds.

Of commentary about the picture released last night that two of the children were wearing school uniforms, Anthony said this wasn't the case, and that two of the young brothers were actually wearing matching blue jumpers with a logo on the front.

Yesterday, the Garda Press Office confirmed the incident at Tallaght station, saying the family — the mother and six of her seven children — had shown up during the night “as they had nowhere to go”.

Margaret Cash with six of her seven children who slept in a Dublin Garda station on Wednesday night due to lack of emergency accommodation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

It said: “Members of An Garda Síochána tried all the emergency lines in relation to a homeless shelter and no accommodation was located, a number of local hotels were also phoned.

"The family were cared for during the night by the members working and received a hot breakfast. The family have left and are on the way to South Dublin County Council."

- Digital Desk

KEYWORDS: Homeless, Housing

 

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