“Homeless deaths rising dramatically in Dublin over the past few months, no mention by the Government” – Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has said that he is dismayed at the lack of political discussion or government action over the huge spike in homeless deaths in the capital over the last two months.
Deputy Tóibín said: “Documents furnished to Aontú by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive show that for 2018 they recorded 35 homeless deaths and 34 in 2019. The figure to date in 2020 stands at 39, higher than previous years, this is especially shocking given that the year isn’t near over yet. Another deeply worrying trend is the significant spike in deaths recorded in July and August. Between January and June of this year there were an average of three or four homeless deaths per month, but in July ten people died, and a further eight people in August”.
Deputy Tóibín continued; “The documents sent to me by the DRHE give details on these deaths, they make for difficult reading with the phrase “young man” and “young woman” appearing with a heart-breaking frequency. One of the deaths in July was of a man aged in his 20s who was ‘found dead while sleeping rough’, another was a girl of 19 years, who died in an emergency accommodation facility, another ‘young woman in her 20s… appears to have taken her own life while residing in an Emergency Accommodation Facility’. The list goes on with many other tragic stories”.
“We know that this month’s statistics will likely include the case where a boy of 16 has been charged with the murder of a homeless man, who the media say was beaten to death by the youth who was attempting to steal his mobile phone. I can see no concrete action from the government in response to these sky-rocketing statistics. There is something deeply tragic in the fact that the week when the death rate appears to have peaked was the same week that the government voted to give Junior Ministers a pay rise. Its well time we got our priorities straight in this country. The situation with regards to the spike in homeless deaths must be declared an emergency, we can no longer leave this battle in the hands of activists, volunteers and charities, it's time the government stepped up to the plate. I want to commend the great work of the DRHE and Br Kevin in the Capuchin Day Centre, but these organisations must be better supported by the government”, concluded Deputy Tóibín.