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Dublin: 13°C Thursday 13 May 2021
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Balloons left outside Leinster House to represent the 56 people who have died in homeless services in Dublin this year

A review is being carried out into the increase in the deaths of people accessing homeless services.

ICHH is calling for more transparency around nationwide numbers.
ICHH is calling for more transparency around nationwide numbers.
Image: Christina Finn

INNER CITY HELPING Homeless group have placed 56 balloons outside Leinster House today to highlight the level of deaths within homeless services so far this year.

Each black balloon represents a person who has died within homeless services in Dublin this year, with the group calling for full transparency on the total number of deaths across the country.

The Tánaiste recently told the Dáil that a review is being carried out into the increase in the deaths of people accessing homeless services in the city, stating that the rise is concerning. 

He was speaking after the deaths of two men on Dublin city’s streets last week.

ICHH CEO Anthony Flynn said there has been a “stark rise” in the figures, with 39 deaths recorded in the capital last year.

He said there are beds left available each night, but raised concerns about some rough sleepers not being able to avail of the beds, due to them not having a habitual link to Dublin, having perhaps come from neighboring counties. 

With the drop in temperatures, further deaths will occur, said Flynn.

People dying on the streets in the capital has become  “socially acceptable”, he said, stating it should not be so. 

“There should be outrage over the numbers that have died on our streets. These balloons represent 56 people who have died this year. This number is going to rise,” he said.

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Housing

The issue of housing was raised with the Taoiseach in the Dáil today, with the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald asking where is the government’s affordable housing plan which was promised in September.

“This is not a Government that is serious about tackling the housing crisis. Behind all of the statistics and figures is an entire generation for whom home ownership is now a pipe dream, people who will struggle to keep a secure roof over their heads, people who worry about their rent and people who are in extraordinarily precarious positions, many of whom live in the box room of their mother’s home, sometimes with their own children. Their situations, stories and lived reality prove that the Government’s housing policies are not working,” she said.

The Taoiseach said he wants to work with other parties in the House to deal with the housing issues.

“For example, is it not time we got on with the Oscar Traynor Road site, or do we want to put it back for another five years and just come to the House with a load of rhetoric about people waiting to get houses at affordable prices? That is what will happen. The Deputy continues to refuse and vote against schemes throughout the country because they do not fit her ideological frame.

“With respect, we have gone beyond ideology in the housing crisis. We all cannot have it our own way in terms of the ideal model. The Government is prepared to support social housing at an unprecedented level, as well as affordable housing and cost rental. It is time others worked with us in that regard,” he said.

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