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Friday 15 November 2019

Working tradesmen forced to sleep on city streets

A growing number of tradesmen are sleeping on the streets of Dublin, says a service for the homeless. Photo: Councillor Lawrence Hemmings
A growing number of tradesmen are sleeping on the streets of Dublin, says a service for the homeless. Photo: Councillor Lawrence Hemmings

A growing number of tradesmen are sleeping on the streets of Dublin, says a service for the homeless.

Men from their early 20s to their 40s are sleeping rough, with some using tents, says Natasha Morgan, co-founder of Feed Our Homeless.

"Some are in construction, some are in trades, such as electricians. They use our services regularly. Some are Irish and some are foreign.

"Rents are too high and the way things are going there's no hope for anyone to get on the property ladder who isn't already on it. These people are working but on the streets," Ms Morgan said.

"They live in tents, some in hostels, some just sleep rough on the streets.

"The Government has to stop letting bigger multi- national companies and corporations come in. They're controlling the rental market.

"I believe there's enough homes for everyone but the way our city and country is now it's the deeper your pockets are the more you matter."

Last month Donaghmede Green party councillor Lawrence Hemmings was on his way to work when he saw a tent on the street in Dublin city centre. A Deliveroo delivery bag was beside it, with a bike locked close by.

Cllr Hemmings took a photograph (inset) and tweeted it, causing widespread anger.

He said he wanted to highlight the dire circumstances some were living in.

Deliveroo later said it would attempt to contact the person to check whether they could offer support from local agencies.

Highlight

Meanwhile, a source revealed to the Herald that a young woman working for an insurance company has been sleeping in her car near the city centre.

The woman is in a well-paid job but found herself homeless and unable to gain access to support.

She did not wish to be interviewed and many affected by the problem are also refusing to highlight it publicly. Officials believe such scenarios are the tip of the iceberg in Dublin, due not only to high rents but to a fear of stigmatisation, meaning the issue is not being addressed.

North Inner City independent councillor Christy Burke said: "My information is a lot of people are sleeping in tents as they can't afford rent.

"They're getting up and going to work and coming back at night to sleep. That's no life.

"But there are also people going to get food from the groups who go round the streets.

"They have rental homes but are living in Dickensian conditions and can't afford to eat."

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