Margaret and her family with broadcaster, Miriam O\'Callaghan

Margaret and her family with broadcaster, Miriam O'CallaghanIMAGE: RTE

The mother of seven has received a slew of online abuse since posting a pic of her and her seven children sleeping in a Garda station. Today she silenced them all.

Margaret Cash came into headlines one week ago when a picture went viral of six of her seven children sleeping on hard chairs in a Garda station after presenting herself as homeless.

While the harrowing situation sparked outrage from many Irish people who called for action to be taken on the homelessness crisis the country is facing, Margaret, 28, became the subject of bitter criticism from some quarters. While few sought to question - or blame - the children's father for the situation, many had plenty to say about Margaret. (Sound familiar?) She received shockingly personal abuse on social media, with commentators accusing her of being irresponsible and insulting her parenting skills, even her intelligence. 

“It's hard when you know you haven't done anything wrong,” she told Miriam O’Callaghan today on RTE Radio during the Today With Miriam O'Callaghan show. “I never said I was poor. I said I was homeless. I get benefits the same as everyone else. I just haven’t got enough to get a home.”

A national crisis

Hitting back at those who have accused her of trying to ‘play the system’ she proved herself composed and articulate as she described her anger at the lack of government response to the housing crisis generally.

“I'm so frustrated at the fact they think this is ok. What gives them the right to say that people could live like this? Every child, every Irish citizen is entitled to a home. I've an awful lot of anger for [the Government].

I've met hundreds of families and they're just normal people. Some of them even work, and they just can't afford a mortgage to put a roof over their head. I don't understand why for so long people have been saying this is happening and nobody has been taking any heed… "It's not just for me, it's for every other homeless family.”

She also revealed on the show that she and her family have just been offered a three-bed apartment by Dublin Council, telling Miriam, “It’s better news than what it was last week, when they were expecting me to go night by night again, I’m really happy. I'm going to tell [the kids] and they will be over the moon.”

Families needing help

On the night that Margaret and her six sons slept at Tallaght Garda station up to eight families were in similar situations around Dublin. Her daughter, 9, was able to find accommodation with a family friend, having just been discharged from Tallaght Hospital. 

A spokesman for Inner City Helping Homeless revealed that Margaret and her family and been offered somewhere to stay on the night in question but it was for “unsuitable emergency accommodation”.

Since Margaret decided to go public with her story, another mother putting herself in the firing line for the good of her family, the growing issue of homelessness has become a major talking point. Earlier this week, the Dublin Regional Housing Executive (DRHE) confirmed that it is to review the processes in place for people who seek emergency accommodation.

READ: If You Thought The Homeless Crisis Was Bad Before…A Family Just Spent The Night in A Garda Station

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