Europe

Homeless family of seven sleep in police station

Six children spent the night in a police station. Image copyright Anthony Flynn/ Inner City Helping Homeless
Image caption A young family spent Wednesday night in Tallaght police station in South Dublin as they had nowhere else to go

A mother and her six children slept in a police station in Dublin on Wednesday night as they had nowhere to go.

GardaĆ­ (Irish police) confirmed the family of seven included children aged from a one-year-old to an 11-year-old.

Pictures of the children sleeping on benches appeared on social media overnight.

A police spokesperson said the family received a hot breakfast before leaving the police station on Thursday morning.

According to national government figures there are currently 9,872 people in emergency accommodation, 3,824 of those are children.

Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said the night of the 8 August saw an "unprecedented number of families presented out of hours seeking emergency accommodation".

In a statement the DHRC added: "Our Central Placement Team were able to source emergency accommodation for five of the families, one family refused the offer of accommodation, two of the families were linked back in with their region (outside of Dublin) and two did not seek further assistance."

Image caption The government said there were 4,700 exits from homelessness in 2017

The government reiterated their commitment to address homelessness when BBC News NI contacted them for a response.

The statement said: "We are determined as a government to increase the stock of social housing by 50,000 homes by 2021 under Rebuilding Ireland, with the necessary funding ring-fenced to achieve this."

The Rebuilding Ireland strategy was launched in 2016 by the then housing minister Simon Coveney.

Speaking at the time, Mr Coveney promised there would be no family in emergency accommodation by July 2017.

Emergency accommodation is where a homeless person is provided with accommodation in a hotel or B&B until suitable housing can be found.