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homelessness crisis

Reports show that the number of homeless families in Ireland has decreased.

The monthly report by the government shows that in December, the number of children in emergency accommodation decreased by 254.

It also shows that there were 5,508 homeless adults, 3,079 homeless children and 1,408 homeless families, according to RTE.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy considered the report to be ‘good progress.’

However, homelessness charities remind the public that numbers tend to drop in December and increase once more during this month.

On the other hand, adult male homelessness increased.

Last month, The Simon Community, a housing and homeless charity, saw a 33 percent rise in the number of people using its services. 

According to their Annual Report for 2016, this increase includes more than 11,000 people total, who were either homeless or at risk of losing the roof over their heads.

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Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claimed that Ireland's homelessness crisis was 'low' by international standards. 

The Taoiseach spoke on the second day of the Fine Gael national conference in Cavan, and insisted that the Government would be turning the tide on homelessness none the less. 

Facing backlash over his remark, on Twitter, Varadkar responded to critics: 'Context matters.'

'Was asked a question yesterday about Ireland having one of the highest homelessness levels. We don’t by international comparison. That's a fact.,' he said.

He then drew further criticism from citizens with the following statement:

'It is nonetheless a stain on our society and we’ll do all we can to eliminate it.'

Twitter users were taken aback by the turn of phrase used by the Taoiseach. 'Yes context matters Taoiseach and referring to homelessness as a "stain on society" is an unpalatable statement,' said one user.

Niamh Randall, spokesperson for The Simon Communities of Ireland, challenged the Taoiseach's statement via Twitter: 

'This narrative must be challenged. It’s is not true.Other countries use a broader definition of homelessness when gathering their statistics our monthly statistics only record a limited number – those who are in Section 10 funded emergency accommodation.'

'These monthly numbers do not include rough sleepers & those staying is squats, hidden homelessness people living in unsuitable, overcrowded, unsustainable accommodation, those in accommodation not funded through section 10 – many thousands of people struggling.'

 

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