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The children who slept in Tallaght Garda Station on Wednesday night ICHH

Family which spent night in garda station offered 'evening only' accommodation

Margaret Cash is understood to be in contact with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive about trying to secure accommodation for her and her family.

LAST UPDATE | 13 Aug 2018

THE MOTHER-of-seven who spent the night in a garda station with her children last week is continuing to receive temporary accommodation provided by Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH).

Margaret Cash (28) and six of her children, aged from one to 11, spent the night in Tallaght Garda Station in Dublin on Wednesday after failing to secure suitable emergency accommodation.

Herself and six of her children were provided with emergency accommodation by ICHH on Thursday and were expected to leave the accommodation today. Another one of her children is staying with a family friend, having recently been released from hospital after suffering from a viral infection.

Dublin Regional Housing Executive said that the family had been offered emergency accommodation on a “continuous basis” but turned it down earlier today.

“The accommodation is evening / night time only, but the family will return to the same place every evening until an alternative is sourced. This is accommodation the family has stayed in previously,” DRHE said in a statement.

Anthony Flynn, CEO of ICHH, has said that DRHE’s offer of accommodation was “unsuitable” as Margaret and her children are expected to leave the accommodation early in the morning and “wander the streets” until they are allowed back in the evening.

“It would be different if the children weren’t on summer holidays, they would be in school during the day, in a routine, not wandering the streets.

“Margaret isn’t looking to be housed straight away, but the accommodation being offered doesn’t even have the facilities to cook,” Flynn said.

The ICHH said it will continue to provide temporary accommodation to Margaret and her children “until a suitable accommodation is provided from Dublin Regional Homeless Executive”.

“ICHH has secured suitable private emergency accommodation for the family for the coming days giving them some stabilisation and routine around their day.

“What we felt is, over the past number of days, that because of the tension around the case that Margaret needed to be accommodated in sustainable accommodation, which she has been, where she can cook, she can clean, she can wash the kids,” Flynn said.

DRHE said that it appreciates how difficult the situation is for Cash and her family.

“The DRHE and South Dublin County Council are working very hard to find alternative emergency accommodation for them, unfortunately considering the demands on the provision of emergency accommodation there is limited supply available to local authorities.”

Presenting to garda station

Margaret, who is from Tallaght, became homeless last September after the private house she was renting was repossessed.

Speaking to 98fm on Friday, Margaret said she was advised on Wednesday night to present to Tallaght Garda Station after Focus Ireland could not secure emergency accommodation for her and her children.

“They called back and said they found a room. They went on to tell me it could only take five of the kids and they said it was in county Meath,” she said. She said she would not have been able to travel there that late at night.

Margaret and her family then spent the night in Tallaght Garda Station.

In a statement last week, the Department of Housing said that Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has spoken with DRHE and it confirmed that they reviewing the processes in place for those who present late at night in need of emergency accommodation.

“Emergency accommodation was available [on Wednesday night] but there is clearly urgent need for better communication between the DRHE, our Partner Organisations and State Agencies to ensure families can be accommodated at short notice when they present,” it said.

Latest figures from the Department of Housing show that 9,872 people were in emergency accommodation during the week of 18-24 June, an increase of 26 people compared with the previous month.

The figure includes 6,048 adults and 3,824 children.

With reporting from Adam Daly 

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