Sunday 25 August 2019

Plan for child actors to play homeless children at launch sparks controversy

Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Child actors are to re-enact the experiences of children living in emergency accommodation to raise awareness around homelessness in an event which has sparked controversy.

The Office of the Children's Ombudsman has organised an "interactive experience" for the launch of the watchdog's 'No Place Like Home' report.

The report follows a lengthy consultation between the Children's Ombudsman and people living in family hubs, which were introduced by the Government to address the homelessness crisis. The child actors will relay the stories of the children who engaged with the project. The event will also include writings and drawings by children living in family hubs.

However, the event has resulted in a row between the Children's Ombudsman and the Dublin Regional Homelessness Executive (DRHE), which was also involved in the project.

Last week, DRHE director Eileen Gleeson wrote directly to the Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon complaining that the event was "sensationalising what is an emotive subject".

However, in a statement to the Sunday Independent, Dr Muldoon stood by the event and insisted it was his "statutory obligation to ensure children's voices are heard".

The DRHE said it would not be commenting.

Sunday Independent

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