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Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Dramatic increase in number of people sleeping rough in Dublin

New count finds the number of people on the streets of the capital has risen by almost a quarter in the past year.

The number of people sleeping rough on Dublin streets has increased by almost half in the last six months, according to new information from a homeless agency.

There were at least 87 people counted sleeping rough on the streets of the capital on one night earlier this month. A similar count in April of this year found 60 people sleeping on the streets.

The November count, which took place on the night of 9 November, was conducted by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE), the state agency which oversees the tackling of homelessness across Dublin.

It is the second year in a row that there’s been a significant rise in the numbers of people sleeping on the streets of the capital. Similar surveys in 2010 and 2009 found 70 people and 60 people respectively.

Cathal Morgan, the head of DRHE, described the trend as  “extremely disappointing”.

Speaking on RTE Radio this morning, Morgan said that  the two main reasons people find themselves on the streets are mental health or addiction issues, and destitute migrants who came to Ireland during the boom and found themselves unable to leave or find proper housing when the recession hit.

Morgan stressed that Dublin homeless agencies are fully prepared to deal with a cold snap similar to last year’s should it arise, saying that it is an “absolute commitment” of the Dublin local authorities to ensure that accommodation will be available to homeless people if the inclement weather returns.

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