Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that sadly it’s an all too regular occurrence that homeless families are referred to Garda Stations nationwide for shelter.
The Deputy was commenting following confirmation from Gardaí that a homeless family were forced to sleep in Tallaght Garda Station because they had no other accommodation.
He said, “The idea that a young mother and her six children would be forced to present themselves to their local Garda Station is distressing but sadly, this is not the first time this has happened.
“As this crisis has worsened under Fine Gael’s leadership, more and more families have been left with no choice but to present themselves to a Garda station to get rest for a night because they have nowhere else to go.
“To have no stable accommodation or nowhere else to go represents a colossal failure of the State. For any parent or guardian to be put in the position to present with their loved ones to a Garda station for accommodation shows the impossible decisions people are faced with under this Government.
“The images that have emerged this morning of some of the children trying to rest on seats in the station’s waiting room are deeply upsetting. Emphasising the fact that this family of 7 were given a breakfast at the station as though it’s some kind of consolation is sad in itself.
"Last July we were assured by the Minister that the practice of leaving families in short term hotel accommodation would end; that no one would be kept in hotels. Over 12 months on and there isn't even enough emergency hostel accommodation to keep up with demand. We're now relying on the support of our Garda stations to take in homeless families.
“If we didn’t already know before now, Ireland’s housing crisis is destroying lives. Fine Gael’s policies on housing are denying these children’s basic human rights."