Homeless being kicked out of hotels in run-up to St Patrick's Day - TD
Homeless families living in hotels are being told to leave in the run-up to St Patrick's Day, it has been claimed.
Distressed families have been contacting their local TDs recently, saying they are being thrown out of their emergency accommodation in the build-up to the national holiday.
St Patrick's Day will see a massive influx of tourists into the capital city.
Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe told the Irish Independent the demand for hotel rooms is having a knock-on effect on homeless families who rely on hotels and other B&B accommodation.
"I think it's happening right across the city," he said.
"It's not the first time that I've heard of this happening.
"Whenever there is a big concert on you often hear stories about families being told to vacate their accommodation.
"A weekend that should be a positive celebration of Irishness will now unfortunately have a negative impact on the homelessness situation. Homeless families are facing into St Patrick's weekend with nowhere to stay or go for that weekend.
"There is no emergency plan, no emergency measures, and no solutions coming from the Government as they head off to other parts of the globe.
"I have no doubt that many infrequent visitors to Ireland, and Dublin in particular, will be shocked by the amount of homeless people living on the streets."
Dublin Mid-West TD Eoin Ó Broin said two families contacted him recently, expressing the same concern.
A spokesperson from the Department of Housing and Planning accepted that some families are asked to leave their emergency accommodation during public holidays and events, but said they are always relocated.
"There's a contingency plan put in place by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) for public holidays and it makes alternative arrangements for anyone impacted by this.
"The DRHE is liaising with the owners of these hotels at all times.
"When particular difficulties arise [families] will be told well in advance that [their hotel] may need some of the rooms.
"They will then make alternative arrangements for them.
"Nobody is being told they just have to get out.
"They're provided with alternative suitable accommodation," said the spokesperson.
The DRHE also acknowledged that some families are being asked to vacate their emergency accommodation.
"We continue to maintain normal arrangements with hotels over St Patrick's weekend.
"If there are cases where families have to leave their accommodation we provide a suitable alternative," a spokesperson said.
However, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said it was not aware "of any cases" in which families have been asked to leave their accommodation for St Patrick's weekend.
"Arrangements for temporary accommodation for families in emergency circumstances are handled directly between the local authorities and the individual hotels concerned," a spokesperson said.