Money for junkets while children go homeless

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Paul Keller, Solidarity. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

THERE seems to be money in abundance to send TDs and councillors around the world for St Patrick’s Day, but nothing for the very high number of children without a home.

That’s the view of Limerick Solidarity councillor Paul Keller, who was responding to the fact that 51 families, including 71 adults and 98 children were living in emergency accommodation in Limerick on January 12.

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At last week’s Metropolitan District council meeting, Cllr Keller was told that 35 families, including 52 adults and 69 children, were in Bed and Breakfast accommodation on the same date.

Eighteen of these were single parents with 36 children, while the remainder of those living in B&Bs made up of 17 couples with 33 children.

Commenting on the Council’s latest figures, Cllr Keller said: “Shame! Shame! Shame!

“Meanwhile, politicians spent last week clapping each other’s back and celebrating how far we’ve come since the sitting of the first Dáil 100 years ago.”

“I am sure they bragged about all their success, but overlooked their failures. How many times did homelessness, hospital overcrowding, direct provision, cervical cancer and nurses pay get a mention during the course of the event. They seem to be under the impression that the duty of care only applies to themselves, but not us,” he told the Limerick Post.

When it comes to foreign junkets, the City East representative suggested that money doesn’t appear to be an issue, yet still ten families with 13 adults and 18 children were living in the Mid-West Simon Family Hub on the Dublin Road on January 12. On the same date, Suaimhneas also provided shelter for six single mothers with 11 children.

“Most disturbing are the very high number of children without a home. Some children were born into homelessness and it may be years before they have a proper home. Apparently we have the money, we have the land and announcement after announcement that the Government has found the answer at last.

“I am tired of holding my breath,” he concluded.