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Women's shelter delayed as residents object

The opening of a homeless centre in Dublin has been delayed after locals objected to it.

The Novas Initiatives Women's Centre in Finglas, Dublin 11, was set to open last Tuesday, but this was postponed until Dublin City Council meets with residents to discuss the proposed project.

According to a report released by the Homeless Executive, women were meant to enter the complex as early as the first week of November.

The centre is to accommodate 55 homeless women on a temporary six-month basis.

The 15-acre site on the Kildonan Road will be run by the Depaul Trust and the Novas Initiatives agency, as well as other organisations, including the HSE and the Irish Prison Service.

It is anticipated that there will be a combined budget of around €2m available to the programme of support with a minimum of 30 staff.

Local councillor David Costello suggested that the area should deal with its own social issues first, before accepting a facility like this.

"There is a lot of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in parts of Finglas, and perhaps they should not be opening a homeless centre in the area until we sort out our own problems," he said.

The Depaul Trust will operate a programme for 15 women on release from Dochas Women's Prison in two existing houses on the site, with some of these having substance issues.

A further 26 women will be transferred from another Novas Initiative facility in the city, Mount Brown, with around 75pc of these currently on methadone.

The centre, which was formerly known as the St Laurence's Reformatory School, was transferred into the possession of Dublin City Council.

Local resident June O'Keefe explained why she was frustrated with the council.

"Since last year this centre was discussed at various council meetings, but yet the council haven't revealed any information on the facility to the area's residents," she said.