Minister cannot brush figures on homelessness under the carpet – O’Brien

Published on: 30 April 2018

Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has written to Minister Eoghan Murphy to demand that no changes are made to the publication of homeless figures.

The Deputy’s letter comes following reports that the Government intend to prolong the monthly release of figures and will instead publish them once every three months.

According to the latest figures published in February, there are currently almost 10,000 homeless people in Ireland, this includes 3,755 children.

Deputy O’Brien commented, “Delaying the publication of very crucial data related to homelessness is in my mind a very clear attempt to minimise the scale of the crisis.

“It would appear as though the Government are trying to keep this rising number of homeless people out of sight and out of mind but there is no hiding from the fact that this is about more than just a number.

“These figures represent real lives, real families and children struggling to secure a roof over their heads or a comfortable place they can call home. They act as reliable proof of the Government’s weak policy on housing.

“The general public rely on the regular publication of figures to be reminded of the depth of the crisis in homelessness; that this is a problem that is not going away.

He added, “In addition to holding the Government to account, this is essential information for those in NGOs operating at the centre of the crisis as it allows them effectively respond to emerging trends.

“I am vehemently opposed to any change to the current process of publication and I have written to the Housing Minister to demand that figures on homelessness will continue to be released on a monthly basis.

“I will also be raising this issue on the floor of the Dáil later this week.

“The Government cannot bury its head in the sand over this crisis and cannot be allowed to hide the figures. Should Ireland ever get to grips with the crisis, transparency and full accountability are imperative,” Deputy O’Brien concluded.

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