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How Could This Still Be Happening?


How Could This Still Be Happening?

On a rainy day on Friday 14th August 2015, at a little past 3 pm, on a grass public area between Fatima & Rialto Luas stop two people lay on the ground in an embraced way. The two were keeping warm and dry as best as they could possibly could. They had some kind of ground sheet underneath them, and then where covered by at least two sleeping bags. Not only was the sleeping bag keeping them warm but also keeping their personal belongings. The plastic bags that held their belongings seemed to be fading, a reminder to people just how long this couple was homeless. As these two slept under their sleeping bags, the world just seems to carry on. All who passed this couple either on the Luas or driving, did glance over but no one stopped. I went over to them tried to call out there was no reply, so I left them in peace for the reason I did not know when they last slept, and maybe that was their only chance of getting a sleep.

Last July, the Dublin City Council (DCC) announced that they were short €18. 5 Million Euro to keep the homeless services up to date for 2015. If the DCC have not got enough cash to provide this services, what will happen to all those who are homeless or who may end up homeless?

Over the August Bank Holiday, it was reported that there was up to six pregnant women sleeping rough in Dublin City. A family who found themselves allocated emergency accommodation in a hotel in Dublin City, were informed by the hotel management that they were not to use the main reception area and if they needed to enter or leave the hotel that they must use a separate door, and if the parents could also help it not to use the hotel’s facilities.

Last month, a mother and her three young children (who were all under 6yrs), where found to be sleeping rough in Dublin City. The family, lived in our own Fatima, the banks took away their home. The family where given sleeping bags and told to report to the services they were using the next morning.

How come in a time when the State has never owned so much housing stock can people still be made homeless?  How is that moral?  Does it need to be more complicated than that or is our State refusing to house the majority of homeless as a matter of policy?

It makes me very sad every time I pass a house or a building that is all bared up and empty, when we have such a huge problem with homeless in Ireland.

Don’t be fooled in to believing there is no money to fund such services for homeless. The Irish Government have in the last 3 or so years pumped millions of Euro into Irish Water, if they had of pumped half of what they gave to Irish Water, they could have actually fixed the homeless crisis once for all. Indeed with the Syrian Refugee crisis, we see the Government does have the funds when needed to aid and assist people.  This is not an attack on the very real blight of the Syrian Refugees but an example that our homeless crisis is not a problem of no funds but one of Government policy.  .

It took another death of another homeless man just before last Christmas for the Irish government to act, Jonathon Corrie froze to death near the Dáil, a man nearly on the Government’s doorstep frozen.  The media furore was enough for loud noises but he here we are nearly a year on with people still out in the rain and cold.  Homeless will not go away Unaided.

Next year, the State will be getting ready to celebrate 100 years of freedom from British rule. These celebrations will mark a mile stone, but to some who are sleeping on the streets it will be hollow victory.

Folks, how could this be still happening?

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