Monday 16 July 2018

Third-level students forced to sleep rough due to accommodation crisis, TD claims

Galway - Eyre Square-Kennedy Park
Galway - Eyre Square-Kennedy Park

Payu Tiwari

At least 50 third-level students will be forced to sleep rough in September in Galway due to a lack of accommodation available, a TD has claimed.

Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte has alleged that she knows of 22 students who slept in Eyre Square at the beginning of the last academic year as they were unable to find somewhere to live.

The Fianna Fail representative said she feels the situation will only be worse this coming September.

She told Independent.ie: “There will be at least 50 people sleeping homeless.

“Last year a small number of them were first years, but the rest of them were second or third year students.”

With student accommodations booking out fast already, there are fears that they predicament might get worse this academic year.

Anne Rabbitte TD. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Anne Rabbitte TD. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

“Galway is the hub of education. There has to be a response from the Government,” said Ms Rabbitte.

She has suggestions through which the situation could be improved this September.

“AirBnBs can provide suitable temporary accommodation, and we need more accommodation providers. Universities should be able provide accommodation for their student population,” she said.

According to Ms Rabbitte, stepping up the bus service for students can also provide them important help. “Even if we improved the bus network, it would be of great help,” she said.

Building more student accommodation to fit Galway’s increasing student population and improving the bus service in the county are the two possible solutions to this crisis, which Deputy Rabbitte says that the Government should consider.

She said: “There has to be a response to this.”

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