Monday 20 November 2017

Homeless are banned from garden - but dogs allowed

Fr Peter McVerry told the Oireachtas Housing Committee that a seven-year-old boy in emergency accommodation asked his mother why animals could go out on a sunny day but not his family. Photo: Frank McGrath
Fr Peter McVerry told the Oireachtas Housing Committee that a seven-year-old boy in emergency accommodation asked his mother why animals could go out on a sunny day but not his family. Photo: Frank McGrath

Barry Lennon

Homeless children put up in a hotel are banned from playing in the garden where dogs are allowed, a parliamentary watchdog has heard.

Fr Peter McVerry told the Oireachtas Housing Committee that a seven-year-old boy in emergency accommodation asked his mother why animals could go out on a sunny day but not his family.

He said: "I heard the story of one family living in a hotel bedroom, they were not allowed to mix with other residents, they were not allowed to eat in the restaurant.

"They had to come in the back door, they were not allowed in the front.

"They weren't allowed to sit in the garden.

"It was a lovely sunny day, all the paying residents were in this garden and the parent decided to bring the kids for a walk.

"While walking through the garden, the seven-year-old boy saw a bowl with water and said, 'Mammy, why is the dog allowed in the garden and we're not?'"

Fr McVerry called for a ban on banks, landlords and state agencies "evicting people into homelessness".

He added: "I agree there's a moral argument for banks to take responsibility but I don't think banks respond to moral arguments."

Irish Independent

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