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Census will go to extra lengths to leave nobody uncounted

Special provisions have been put in place to ensure rough sleepers and those in emergency accommodation are counted.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/

SPECIAL PROVISIONS WILL be in place on census night to include Ireland’s homeless in the count, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has confirmed.

Speaking to, a spokesperson from the state’s statistical office explained that efforts will be made to include families in emergency accommodation, single people in hostels and rough sleepers.

“This is something that has become a bigger issue since last time around,” they said.

Single people and rough sleepers 

Multiple agencies will be involved in the count, with a focus on getting as accurate a reading as possible.

On the night the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive will perform a rough sleeper count across the county’s four council areas, with a similar count being carried out by council authorities in Cork.

The responsibility for this will across the rest of the country will fall to CSO staff, gardaí and local homeless services.

On counting rough sleepers, the CSO spokesperson explained:

If they are awake we will try and ask them a few questions. If they are asleep we would leave them alone, but we will try and fill in a few details – like possibly gender.

For hostels, the CSO will be delivering forms to each individual.

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Families in hotels 

This will be the first census in which a separate category will exist for families living in emergency accommodation.

Responding to a parliamentary question earlier this month, minister of state in the Department of the Taoiseach Paul Kehoe said that three special enumerators are in place to count the estimated 500 families living in commercial hotels and B & Bs.

Each family will be contacted in advance by an enumerator who will explain the importance of filling out the form and to arrange a time to collect it.

“Obviously this is a delicate situation if someone is staying in emergency accommodation,” the CSO spokesperson explained, “and we will be taking measure to ensure the privacy of those being counted.”

Following the census, the CSO plans to publish a special report into the state of homelessness in Ireland.

Read: Haven’t got a census form yet? You need to get on to your enumerator, pronto

Also: Census forms haven’t been getting to apartment blocks and the CSO is worried

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