Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has expressed her disappointment with the new Housing Minister after he abandoned targets set by his predecessor to ensure that all families living in hotels would be rehoused in more suitable accommodation by July.

Deputy Rabbitte explained, “The decision by Minister Eoghan Murphy to renege on this commitment is frankly inhumane.  A consensus had been reached under Minister Coveney, that housing families in hotels and B&Bs was entirely unsuitable, and posed a serious threat to the overall welfare of these families.

“Lynam’s Hotel in Dublin – which has been used as temporary accommodation for dozens of homeless families with children over the last two years – was vacated by order of Dublin Fire Services as a result of significant fire safety concerns.  How did it come to pass that these families were accommodated in what was effectively a fire trap?

“This Government, and the previous Fine Gael-Labour coalition, have totally failed to address the root causes of homelessness. Since December 2014, child and family homelessness has trebled, and there are now 1,300 homeless families including 2,708 children, without a permanent roof over their heads.

“How can Minister Murphy and other members of this Government look at these figures and decide that the rehousing of homeless families and children is not a priority?

“It is clear that a hotel or B&B is not a stable or suitable environment for raising children.  There are no facilities for children to do their homework, eat a home-cooked meal, or bring their friends over to play. They may be forced to live far away from their school or crèche – with many families having to make longer journeys in the mornings and evenings.

“The buck must stop with this Government. It is time for Ministers to recognise the rights of children in Ireland and to commit the resources necessary to ensure a safe and stable childhood”.