Ireland's housing crisis has been a regular in the headlines for more than a few years.
Recent reports have indicate that the number of homeless families, or those living in hotels, is rising.
Amidst political arguments and pleas from charities and activists for something to be done one story this week stood out. One single photograph was shocking in it simplicity and impact. It showed children asleep on seating in a Dublin Garda station.
A mother and her six young children slept in Tallaght Garda Station last night after they could not find any other accommodation https://t.co/lbmnfo4wCW— RTÉ News (@rtenews) August 9, 2018
Margaret Cash took six of her children - the youngest just a year old – to Tallaght Garda station as they had nowhere else to go. A garda spokesperson revealed that staff tried to source accommodation for her and her family, to no avail.
“I can confirm a young mother and her six children, aged from 11 years to one year, presented at Tallaght Garda Station during the night as they had nowhere to go.
“Members of An Garda Síochána tried all the emergency lines in relation to homeless shelter and no accommodation was located, a number of local hotels were also phoned.”
The family were cared for at the station for the night before being fed and sent to the local housing authority the following morning.
According to the Irish Times, The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said an “unprecedented number of families” came looking for emergency accommodation on the night in question.
Homeless advocacy groups also reported that up to eight families were sent to sleep in Garda stations that night.
Late last month the Government reported that homeless numbers were “stabilising”, with an increase of 26 from May to June. However, homeless charity Focus Ireland said that having 9,872 people homeless, a new record, is unacceptable.