"Urgent inquiry needed into sky-rocketing homeless death rate" - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called for an 'urgent inquiry' into the dramatically-rising death rate among people who are homeless.
Deputy Tóibín said:
"Today we learned that the number of homeless people to die in Dublin this year has reached 50, this compares with 34 deaths for the whole of 2019 and 35 in total in 2018. This represents a huge increase, especially when we consider that the year isn't over yet and that we are now entering cold winter months. Leo Varadkar tweeted this morning, in what appears to be an attempt to get out ahead of the story, statistics from the CSO website which actually relate to 2019 and show a decrease in the number of people at risk of poverty".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "Mr Varadkar gave himself a pat on the back in his tweet, claiming that Fine Gael 'helped make this happen'. He then went on to take a pot-shot at 'left-wing parties' who he says 'call out problems but do little/ nothing to solve them'. I would love to invite the Tánaiste down to my constituency office in Meath where members of my party and my staff are busy working with a local charity in providing free lunches to families and school children on the poverty line".
"Aontú have secured a number of statistics on the death rate among people who are homeless, from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive, and it makes for very difficult reading. Many of the tragic deaths share common themes. Young people, suicide, overdoses and sleeping rough. One case involved the discovery of the body of a man who had been released from prison the previous day. There is something seriously wrong with our system. A sad fact in all of this is that the death rate spiked in the week beginning 19th July 2020, which saw seven homeless people die, while politicians in the Dáil were voting to give junior government Ministers a pay rise. There is something very wrong if, while the homeless rate is dropping, the homeless death rate is increasing so dramatically. By tweeting spin and ignoring the reality it would appear that the Tánaiste is in denial mode, but now is not the time for tweeting or political point scoring, now is the time for an immediate inquiry into why the death rate among homeless people is spiralling out of control as we face into a period of cold weather", concluded Deputy Tóibín.
Note to Editor: See details of homeless deaths below, provided to Aontú by the DRHE.
There were ten deaths in July, with seven of them occurring in the week commencing the 19th July. A breakdown was provided on these seven:
1. One of the deaths occurred in a hospice where a female in her fifties was receiving palliative care for cancer. She was previously a long-term resident in a Supported Accommodation facility for Homeless that is managed by a NGO.
2. A second death was a young woman in her thirties who appears to have tragically taken her own life while residing in a Supported Accommodation Facility that is managed by a NGO.
3. A third was a young woman in her twenties who died in a Supported Accommodation Facility that is managed by a NGO.
4. A fourth was a young woman of 19 who died in an emergency accommodation facility that is managed by a Private Operator on behalf the DRHE.
5. A fifth was a middle-aged man who died in an emergency accommodation facility that is managed by a Private Operator on behalf of the DRHE.
6. A sixth death was of a young man in his twenties found dead while sleeping rough. He had no connection with Dublin and never sought emergency accommodation. He had been released from prison the day before his death.
7. The seventh was a man in his thirties who appears to have tragically taken his own life at the home of a family member. While he was registered with the DRHE as Homeless he had not taken up emergency accommodation and occasionally had slept rough.
Eight deaths in August...
1. Male, aged in his 50’s died in an NGO service, cause of death unknown
2. Male, aged in his 60’s, died in hospital, resided in NGO service, cause of death unknown
3. Male aged in his 30’s, died in an NGO service, cause of death unknown
4. Male aged late 40’s, died in NGO service, cause of death unknown
5. Male, aged in his 40’s, died in hospital, resided in NGO service, cause of death, suspected suicide
6. Female, aged in her 30’s, died in hospital, resided in an NGO service and cause of death long-term illness.
7. Female, aged in her 50’s, died in an NGO service and cause of death unknown
8. Male, aged in his 50’s, died in hospital, resided in an NGO facility , cause of death long-term illness