Government insists there'll be 'no clearout' of homeless families in hotels during Pope's visit

Junior Minister Damien English acknowledged there'll be "additional strain on the availability of hotels" in August

Government insists there'll be 'no clearout' of homeless families in hotels during Pope's visit

Damien English. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

There won't be a clearout of homeless people living in hotels because of the papal visit, according to the Junior Housing Minister.

Pope Francis will be in Dublin on August 25th and 26th for the World Meeting of Families, with the visit expected to lead to increased demand for accommodation during an already busy summer period in the capital.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Damien English admitted some people may need to be moved outside of Dublin for emergency accommodation in August.

However, the Minister says any contingency measures will only apply to new presentations and not homeless people already in hotels and B&Bs.

He said: "The visit is expected to put additional strain on the availability of hotels across the Dublin region around this time - which happens at many other events as well... it's just not because of the Pope's visit.

"The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive closely monitors the demand for emergency accommodation, and do have contingency plans in place that provide additional bed capacity when required. Such plans were activated, for example, during Storm Ophelia Emma, and more recently during the series of concerns in Phoenix Park."

He stressed: "The difficulties that might happen at peak times... are to do with new presentations. They do not and will not affect existing families.

"We have plans in place... But again, they're for new presentations. It's not to say there'll be a clearout of hotels - that is not the case."