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Dublin: 20°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

There were 54 unoccupied beds in homeless shelters in Dublin last night

A contention that there are not enough suitable beds has been a key argument from the Apollo House occupiers.

16/12/2016. Apollo House. Pictured Apollo House wh Apollo House, which has been occupied by homelessness activists. Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THERE WERE 54 unoccupied beds in homeless shelters in Dublin last night, according to the Housing Minister.

Simon Coveney tweeted this morning that there were as many as 54 unoccupied beds in emergency accommodation across the city, and “no more than 17 in Merchant’s Quay”.

Coveney was referring to the Merchant’s Quay Night Cafe, which provides shelter and mats on the floor to sleep on for up to about 70 people who cannot source alternative accommodation.

“It’s important to let people know that we are significantly increasing beds and services to vulnerable homeless people,” Coveney said in a separate tweet.

The contention that there are not enough suitable beds to accommodate the homeless people of Dublin has been a key argument from the occupiers of Apollo House in Dublin.

There are between 30 to 40 homeless people resident in Apollo House – a Nama-controlled former office building which was occupied by homelessness activists late last Thursday night.

A key argument of the activists from the Home Sweet Home coalition and the Irish Housing Network has been that homeless resident in Apollo House face sleeping on the streets if they are not allowed to stay.

This point was argued by the occupants on Tuesday when they were taken to court by the receivers of the building – Mazars. Mazars were granted a court injunction which ordered that the occupiers must have left the building by 12 noon on Wednesday 11 January.

Both sides have disagreed strongly on the number of beds available for homeless people in Dublin and the suitability of the accommodation provided.

The latest rough sleeper count found 142 people sleeping on the streets of Dublin in November. Since then three new hostels have been opened for the winter period.

Officials say that in total 210 new beds will be available in Dublin by January. A number of new beds were expected to have been opened last night.

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive confirmed that there were 54 beds empty last night (30 for men and 24 for women).

The Peter McVerry Trust this afternoon released a statement saying that 21 people who had been staying in Apollo House had taken up an offer of alternative accommodation.

The PMV Trust has offered the residents of Apollo House places in long-term, high-quality accommodation with professional supports.

So far, the PMV Trust said it has assessed 30 people in Apollo House. 21 have taken up the offer to move to alternative accommodation.

Read: Eight Apollo House residents might avail of long-term accommodation elsewhere

Read: Fr Peter McVerry calls for immediate closure of Merchants Quay Night Cafe

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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