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Emergency accommodation arrangements for IPAS ends

The medical charity Safetynet has said it is disappointed that short-term emergency accommodation offered to International Protection Applicants (IPAS) sleeping in tents on the streets of Dublin could not be extended.

The Department of Integration said it had provided temporary protection to those who were rough sleeping at a number of locations across the capital, some of which was night-time only accommodation.

In a statement, it said: “The arrangements are emergency in nature and will end today.”

It said all IPAS beds were being used and it was working intensively to source further accommodation.

Dr Fiona O’Reilly, CEO of Safetynet Primary Care, said the charity had dealt with many homeless people suffering in the cold weather at the moment.

“The cold and wet increases stress on the body and this lowers immunity and increases the risk of infection,” she explained.

“It also exacerbates pre-conditions like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure.”

Dr Fiona O’Reilly said Safetynet had dealt with many homeless people in the cold weather

She said doctors could treat these conditions, but were also seeing an impact on people’s mental health.

“We’ve seen an increasing number of protection applicants sleeping out on the streets and the more time they spend there, the more despondent they become and this really has a negative effect on their mental health,” she said.

The charity was involved on Friday in helping those sleeping in tents to access the emergency accommodation available.

However this afternoon, some people were already back on the streets surrounding the International Protection Office, saying they had been offered accommodation for just two nights.

Others will remain in accommodation in Dundrum and Citywest for a further night tonight, as Met Éireann forecasts temperatures which could fall as low as -2C.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has said it cannot take on responsibility for providing accommodation for IPAS.

It said it provided 40 additional beds this weekend as part of its extreme weather protocol targeting rough sleepers following the snow on Friday.

Temperatures could fall as low as -2C in Dublin tonight

Chris O’Reilly is the co-founder of the Liberty Soup Run which will be out tonight delivering warm food and extra calories to those on the streets.

He said some people do not want to sleep in hostels, even when temperatures drop, because they do not feel safe.

Speaking about the emergency provision from the DRHE said: “That’s great that they have 40 beds but here’s the question, are they safe beds?

“Are people going to be safe in these places where they’re going to sleep?”

Chris O’Reilly, co-founder of the Liberty Soup Run who will be delivering food to homeless people

He said he had met a young girl last night off St Stephen’s Green in Dublin who had been badly affected by the cold.

“She came out of a tent and she said it was actually colder inside the tent. She was absolutely shaking with a cold, she couldn’t even talk, her jaw was rattling, it’s horrible.

“No human being should have to sleep on the streets. Nobody,” he added.

Fresh floral tributes for an Irish woman who died whilst living on the streets of Dublin a week ago

More floral tributes were laid on Aungier Street in Dublin for an Irish woman who died sleeping on the streets just one week ago.

She had been homeless for seven years and was just 47-years-old.

Her family who came to view the flowers and cards left for her today, have asked for privacy as they mourn.

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