Tuesday 12 December 2017

Anger after gardaí ticketed van of well-known charity as it aided homeless people

Anthony Flynn, director of the Inner City Helping the Homeless group
Anthony Flynn, director of the Inner City Helping the Homeless group
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Gardai ticketed a van of a well known homeless charity as it aided the homeless in Dublin City centre on Thursday morning.

The Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) charity was delivering food and clothes to those sleeping rough in the docklands area when gardai issued their van with a ticket.

“We can’t afford a €80 fine, but I’m more worried that there are no beds for these people,” said Anthony Flynn, CEO of ICHH.

The van is funded by the Department of Social Protection and the departments’ emergency logo is clearly visible on the emergency vehicle.

“The van operates 16 hours a day and sometimes stops in areas that aren’t legal. The docklands area is all double yellow lines, but they stop where people are vulnerable,” said Flynn.

Gardai were removing homeless people from the area when they saw that the van was parked on a double yellow line and issued the ticket.

“We had agreed with the guards that rough sleepers, rather than be displaced, would be engaged with services across the city. The incident should have been dealt with better and our services should have been allowed to interact with them rather than just moving them on,” said Flynn.

A Garda spokesperson said: “A number of reports have been received from the public regarding the current condition of this particular area and the dangers caused to the public by items discarded there.”

They said that have “a strong working relationship” with the charity and will “continue to work closely with the organisation.”

The charity was at the forefront of national campaigns in 2014 when it addressed the homeless crisis after the death of Johnathon Corrie outside Leinster House.

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