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Dublin: 5°C Friday 28 January 2022

Lord Mayor recalls finding 17-year-old pregnant girl in bin

Christy Burke, who volunteers with the group Inner City Helping Homeless, announced that 80 new beds will be provided by homeless services in Dublin in the next two weeks.

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THE LORD MAYOR of Dublin has recalled the moment he found a 17-year-old pregnant girl in an industrial bin while volunteering with a homeless charity.

Christy Burke said that the number of pregnant women on the streets had increased “over the last 12 months”.

“I found a 17-year-old at one stage in an industrial bin who was pregnant and she had to be handed over to social services.”

Burke said that he also met a woman who had given birth six days previously and put her child into care as she “didn’t feel she had a life to give”.

Last week, volunteers from Inner City Helping Homeless found a semi-conscious 24-year-old pregnant woman on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin city centre.

ICHH say there’s been a 53% increase in homelessness in Dublin in the past 6 months. The group counted 154 rough sleepers in the city last Thursday night.

80 new beds

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Burke said that homeless services in the city will provide an additional 80 beds “in the next week or two”.

“They are not overnight beds, they are long-term beds where additional support services will [be provided] … to address [their] issues.

It could be addiction, it could be anything. There’s no two stories the same in a homeless situation.

Burke was told the news at a meeting with Dick Brady, Assistant City Manager of Dublin City Council’s Housing & Residential Department, and Cathal Morgan, Director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.

He said the announcement was “a step in the right direction”, adding that more beds will be made available in the future.

“There’s lots more to do.”

Burke stated that the “epidemic” of homelessness could be fixed “if the political will was there”.

When the government sorted the bank crisis overnight, surely to God we can sort out the wellbeing of human beings and give them back their dignity and integrity?

He added that “Dublin City Councillors of all parties and none” were working together to address the issue.

Related: A woman who is nine months pregnant was sleeping rough in Dublin last night

Read: 154 people slept rough in Dublin last night and here’s what councils are doing about it

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Órla Ryan

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