The Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has ignored several official requests from Dublin City Council for a meeting about the €18m shortfall in funding for homeless services.
The huge shortfall was revealed by Fianna Fáil’s Leader on Dublin City Council, Paul McAuliffe, earlier this month. The Council has since sought an urgent meeting with the Minister, making several written requests that have so far been ignored.
“The fact that the Minister doesn’t even feel the need to reply to our requests says it all. It is a damning indictment of the priority that he places on tackling Dublin’s unprecedented homeless crisis,” said Cllr McAuliffe.
“Following agreement at a Council meeting, officials wrote to Alan Kelly seeking an urgent meeting about the colossal shortfall in funding for homeless services on 7th of July. Having received no response, two more letters were written. All of them were ignored.
“We requested that Minister Kelly facilitate a meeting before the Dáil rose last week and we were willing to accommodate him at any time. But clearly he did not think this issue was important enough to make the short trip from Leinster House to Wood Quay – just a few minutes’ drive away. He has now escaped back to his constituency in Tipperary and the Dáil does not resume until September 22nd.
“If the Minister thinks that he can go away for the summer and we will forget about this funding crisis, he is sorely mistaken. The massive shortfall means that we will be unable to provide emergency accommodation to homeless people in the city in the final few months of the year. It means that 2,000 homeless people in Dublin city will effectively be turfed out of emergency accommodation. This is an extremely grave situation and we have nearly run out of time.
“I have written again to Minister Kelly asking that he take the time this summer to meet with Dublin City Council and figure out how we can address this funding crisis. Dublin City Council officials are also now issuing him with a fourth letter. The very least that the Minister can do is respond, and treat this matter with the gravity that it deserves.”