Thursday 21 February 2019

Family including six children forced to sleep in hospital as they had 'nowhere to go'

The family spent the night in Portiuncula Hospital
The family spent the night in Portiuncula Hospital
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Six adults and six children had to sleep in a Co Galway hospital as they had nowhere to go, it has emerged.

At 10.30pm on September 5, the family went to Athlone Garda Station looking for somewhere to stay as they couldn't access emergency accommodation.

Gardai consulted with Tusla and brought the Romanian family to Portiuncula Hospital to spend the night.

"A Romanian Family consisting of six adults and six children called to Athlone Garda Station and reported that they were homeless," a garda spokesman said.

"Following consultation with Tusla and due to the fact that there were no suitable facilities in the garda station, the family were brought to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe."

It is not known if the family has since found accommodation, as Tusla cannot comment on individual cases. has contacted Westmeath County Council for comment.

Last month, mother-of-seven Margaret Cash made headlines after photos of her and six of her children, aged between one and 11, sleeping on chairs in Tallaght Garda Station were shared by thousands on social media.

The pictures prompted a national debate about homeless services across the country.

Ms Cash and her family are currently living in a B&B in Drumcondra, north Dublin.

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