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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 25 May, 2019
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Women continue sleep-in protest at Bray Town Council over homelessness

Bray Town Council says the two mothers, who are currently homeless along with their children and are demanding that their housing situation be addressed, “have not been locked into the council offices” and are free to leave at any stage.

“2 girls settle down for the night. A lot of tears but strong”, Cllr Brady tweeted. Image: Cllr John Brady

TWO WOMAN AND a councillor are continuing their protest at Bray Town Council today, after arriving at the offices yesterday evening demanding that their housing situations be addressed.

The women, who had both been living under the Rental Accommodation Scheme, separately presented as homeless at Bray Town Council in recent weeks after their landlords took back the properties they had been living in for the past number of years.

Both women were advised by the council to travel with their children to the homeless shelter in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.

However, the mothers say that open hostel is unsuitable and unsafe for their children. Sinn Féin Cllr John Brady, who is staging the protest alongside the women, said that the hostel in question is used mostly by men, some of whom have substance or other problems, and only offers shared kitchen, toilet and showering facilities.

One of the mothers, who did not wish to be identified for work purposes, said her three daughters had been frightened at  the hostel after one night hearing a man upstairs who was drunkenly screaming and knocking on doors. The hostel is also far away from the children’s school, one woman’s work, and has poor public transport links.

Both women arrived at the council offices yesterday to demand that their housing situation was addressed. They were informed that a meeting had been arranged for 2pm on Tuesday but refused to return their children to the hostel. Staff called the gardaí but the women still refused to leave, at which point they were informed that the building would be locked.

Sinn Fein Councillors Rossa Murray and John Brady inside the offices today. (Image: Christina Finn/TheJournal.ie)

This morning, a spokesperson for the council told TheJournal.ie that the premises had been locked for “security and insurance purposes” but that the protesters were free to leave at any stage.

In a statement this morning, Bray Town Council said:

Three people arrived to the council offices on the Main Street on Friday May 31 at 4.15pm and have been there since.

Bray Town Council would also like to clarify that despite reports in the mainstream media and on social media, the three people involved have not been locked into the council offices and are free to leave at any stage.

Drinking water and toilets facilities are available, while food and provisions are being delivered unhindered.

Cllr Brady tweeted this morning about the situation, saying: “Tough night here in the council offices. Hard to believe the council paid for private security but no money for emergency B&B, 2 Gardai also”.

Brady said that a private security guard had also been employed by the council to watch the protesters – suggesting that such services could cost in the region of €240, which “could be better spent” providing suitable emergency accommodation.

Bray Town Council today. (Image: Christina Finn/TheJournal.ie)

Read: Two women ‘locked in’ at Bray Town Council offices after protesting their homelessness

Read: 94 people will be sleeping rough on Dublin’s streets tonight

Read: Government commits to ending homelessness by 2016

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