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Charity criticises 'disingenuous' housing offer to homeless mother-of-seven

A charity that helps homeless people in Dublin has criticised the latest offer of housing for a mother-of-seven.

Margaret Cash, 28, was forced to sleep in Tallaght Garda Station due to lack of emergency homeless accommodation on Wednesday night last.

She circulated pictures of her children sleeping there on social media after she said she could not take any more.

Ms Cash and her seven children – Johnny, 11, Tommy, 10, Rebecca, nine, Miley, seven, Jim, four, Rocky, two, and Andy, one – have been in emergency accommodation for over a year after her landlord went bankrupt and their house was repossessed.

Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) continues to accommodate Ms Cash and her children while discussions are ongoing with the council and homeless services regarding long-term accommodation for the family.

The charity said South Dublin County Council's latest offer of accommodation does not meet the family's needs.

"The Cash family have been offered unsuitable emergency accommodation tonight in South Dublin," said ICHH CEO Anthony Flynn.

"The accommodation offered is for one night only and leaves the family back to square one tomorrow. This is, yet again, a disingenuous offer from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.

"Inner City Helping Homeless have secured suitable private emergency accommodation for the family for the coming days giving them some stabilization and routine around their day.

[quote]If they accepted the one night offer then Ms Cash and her children would be expected to return to the streets on Tuesday and start this process again and this is completely unacceptable.[/quote]

"The council is lacking in sincerity and compassion. The council cannot take Ms Cash in tonight and turf herself and her children back out tomorrow morning first thing.

"This is an extraordinary case and needs to be dealt with in a proper manner."

A spokesperson for Dublin Region Homeless Executive said the offer is for evening and night-time only but they are working to source alternative emergency accommodation.

"The family have been offered emergency accommodation on a continuous basis until alternative emergency accommodation can be sourced.

"The accommodation is evening / night time only, but the family will return to the same place every evening, until an alternative is sourced. This is accommodation the family have stayed in previously.

"We really appreciate how difficult this situation is for Ms Cash and her family and both the DRHE and SDCC are working very hard to find alternative emergency accommodation for them, unfortunately considering the demands on the provision of emergency accommodation there is limited supply available to local authorities."