O’Sullivan statement on Dublin homeless deaths

29 November 2017

Commenting on the tragic deaths of two people sleeping rough in Dublin this week, Labour Housing spokesperson Deputy Jan O’Sullivan said:

“Sadly this week alone we have seen the deaths of two more homeless people in Dublin, and I would like to express my sympathies with the families and friends of these two individuals. These deaths bring to seven the number of people that we know of who have died sleeping rough around Ireland in the past three months, which is as unprecedented as it is tragic.

“While the focus in recent days has been on political controversy, the homelessness crisis has continued to impact people on a daily basis.  As the depths of winter set in and the temperatures plummet, I am really concerned there may be more fatalities on our streets before the winter is out.

“In light of this, the Peter McVerry Trust has called for cross-party support for six proposals that I fully support on behalf of the Labour Party.

“These include a formal assessment of the numbers of rough sleepers, a dedicated contact line and an out of hour’s response team in all Local Authorities.

“To respond in a sustainable way, they rightly demand the right kind of social housing for the needs of rough sleepers and a Housing First plan in each Council.

“I acknowledge the extra emergency beds that have been provided and the outreach work being done by Housing charities, but people will continue to die on our streets if there is not a comprehensive, methodical, sustainable response that provides rough sleepers with a home and the supports they need.

“We are told that money is no object; it needs to be spent to avoid further deaths in the cold on our streets.”


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