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Mum and her five kids sleeping rough in city as council fails to find them shelter

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Lisa O'Brien shelters in the stairway of flats at Oliver Bond House with her children Daisy (2), Gypsie (13), Precious (7), Ocean (4) and Chinne (8).

Lisa O'Brien shelters in the stairway of flats at Oliver Bond House with her children Daisy (2), Gypsie (13), Precious (7), Ocean (4) and Chinne (8).

Lisa O'Brien shelters in the stairway of flats at Oliver Bond House with her children Daisy (2), Gypsie (13), Precious (7), Ocean (4) and Chinne (8).

A HOMELESS woman and her five children have been sleeping rough in Dublin as there was no emergency shelter available for them.

Lisa O’Brien (39) and her five children aged between two and 13-years-old spent Friday night walking the streets, and yesterday they were told by homeless services that there was no emergency hotel or B&B accommodation for them.

They were given one bedroom on Saturday and Sunday night and told to return to Dublin City Council’s homeless services yesterday morning.

“Myself and my children went to the homeless office and we were told there was no availability of hotel beds or B&Bs for us, even though they told us to come back after the weekend,” said Ms O’Brien.

On Friday night last, she was also unsuccessful in getting emergency accommodation.

shelter

“I walked around on Friday night with the kids. We had nowhere else to go,” Ms O’Brien told the

Yesterday, she was told that she could find her own accommodation and that the council would pay.

However, the mum and her children, were taking shelter from the heavy rain in a block of flats with all of their bags and she was not in a position to walk around the capital to locate a hotel.

“I didn’t know where to start, I can’t walk around in the rain knocking on doors with a baby in a buggy and four children behind me. Hotels won’t want all this hassle,” said the mum.

“I’ve been ringing homeless agencies after I was told to find my own bed, but there’s no where for me,” she added.

She explained that she was informed that the hotels normally used by Dublin City Council’s homeless services for emergency accommodation “were full up with One Direction fans” over the last number of days.

The Dublin woman moved to England at 14 years of age and returned to Ireland with her five young children on May 9.

Ms O’Brien planned to start a life for herself here with her family and register her children in schools.

School

However, because she does not have an address, all of her children are out of school.

Ms O’Brien contacted local councillor Christy Burke for help and he told the

“This is the epidemic that must be addressed,” the councillor said.

“To be told there’s no suitable housing for a mother and five kids it’s just not on. The government should give us the tools if it is serious about addressing the crisis,” Mr Burke added.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said that the local authority does not have “an inexhaustible supply of emergency accommodation”, but said it works “tirelessly” to prevent families becoming homeless.

jfegan@herald.ie


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