Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing and Urban Renewal Pat Casey TD says the latest homeless figures show that the Government is failing to get to grips with the housing crisis.
Deputy Casey made the comments after it was confirmed that the number of people living in emergency accommodation has now risen to 9,846.
Deputy Casey said, “There are 3,826 children homeless today in this so called “republic of opportunity”. And that figure does not take into account the hidden homeless children who are not recorded in the official statistics.
“In December last, in yet another debate on child homelessness I had to report the sad reality of Irish families being accommodated in my own Hotel in Glendalough. These stressed families with young children being transported over 50 kilometres each day to get to school and struggle for some semblance of normal life.
“I wish I could state that today this disgraceful witness of Child Homelessness has ended, but the fact remains. What does it say about this crisis in child homelessness that we are putting tourists into homes in Dublin today while Irish families are crammed into Hotel rooms throughout the commuter belt?
“If this fact does not make everyone in this house ashamed and disgusted then let me warn you what may happen when Pope Francis visits. Dublin City Hotels and all accommodation providers are going to be jam packed with delegates and where are the homeless families going to go?
“It would be sickening, wrong and a national disgrace if we ship these families away from the eyes of the media into far away hotels when the Irish families that are homeless here should be given the platform that the World Meeting of Families provides to address child and family homelessness, not just in Ireland but globally.
“Fianna Fáil has tried time and time again to urge this Government to act radically on child and family homelessness. We have given this Government every opportunity to give this crisis the attention it deserves. However the Government simply hasn’t got to grips with this crisis to date. They are not treating it with the seriousness that it deservers,” concluded Deputy Casey.