Homeless services are “bursting at the seams” due to an increase in the asylum seekers arriving in Ireland.
The charity Tiglin says on average 310 International Protection applicants are arriving into Ireland each week and the Government is struggling to provide them with a place to live.
Some have been forced to sleep rough and Chairman Aubrey McCarthy is warning there has been a huge increase in demand for their services.
“What has happened is, the main hub at Citywest - which was set up to hold 370 people - presently has 858 people staying there,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“That is not correct and it can’t continue.
“We operate the homeless service right beside Trinity College on Pearse Street called the Lighthouse, we also have homeless services beside the Four Courts and we also do refugee accommodation as well but we are bursting at the seams.
“We usually serve up to 250 people with dinner but yesterday, we had a 30% increase just on the meals.”
Mr McCarthy said the thought of people sleeping rough in doorways is upsetting and the Government must look at housing people in vacant buildings.
“There are old buildings that were used for student accommodation, hotels etc,” he said.
“Some of them are perhaps in NAMA but these have to be utilised at the moment.
“It needs to be an all-party, all-Government response to it, so that we can deal with this shortage, which is going to last, I would say, until mid-February.”
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, interim Justice Minister Simon Harris described it as an “extremely difficult situation”.
“Minister [Roderic] O’Gorman, myself and others have been very upfront about that,” he said.
“The scale of migration, not just here but across Europe, is posing real challenges.
“This morning, I’ll be visiting the Border Management Unit and the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin Airport, meeting with them to assess the overall situation and later today, I’ll be travelling to a meeting with justice and home affairs ministers in Stockholm where we’ll be discussing the overall issue of migration.
“We’re very upfront and clear as a Government; we are entering an extremely challenging period in relation to accommodation and migration.”
Main image: A rough sleeper.