Families staying long-term in local hotels asked to leave for St Patrick's Day

By Maurice Garvey

FAMILIES in emergency accommodation are at risk of spending St Patrick’s holidays on the streets after discovering they would have to vacate a local hotel – despite one family living there for nine months.

The Echo understands at least three families staying in one hotel were asked to vacate the premises by noon on Friday, March 10.

Homeless rough sleeper large

In a letter seen by The Echo, the hotel asked the guests to ensure all belongings were removed from the room by March 10.

The hotel said belongings “will be stored for no more than one month (at the hotel’s discretion) after which point any items not collected may be donated to charity and/or disposed of.”

Guests are asked to contact their local authority to discuss alternative homeless accommodation.

Sinn Féin councillor Mark Ward fears hotels across the county could be using a similar approach, after being contacted by the affected families.

“One of the girls has been staying in the hotel for nine months and has two kids,” said Cllr Ward.

“Anyone staying in hotels for this type of accommodation has kids. They have made the best of a bad situation. They are being asked to self-accommodate but don’t have anything lined up. Anyone would have incredible difficulty in trying to find a place to stay on St Patrick’s weekend.”

A cursory check on the hotel’s website, found rooms available on March 10/11, but at double the normal rate – between €150-€160, compared to €71 for a Friday night on March 31.

The hotel is booked out solid for St Patrick’s weekend, but rooms are available Monday to Thursday of this week.

A spokesman for South Dublin County Council said: “We are not asking any of our clients in hotels to leave them for St Patrick’s Day.”

A spokesman for the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said: “Arrangements for temporary accommodation for families in emergency circumstances are handled directly between the local authorities and the individual hotels concerned.

“The IHF is not aware of any cases in which families have been asked to leave their accommodation for St Patrick’s weekend.”

Approximately 440 applicants are currently on the homeless priority list.

SDCC operate facilities in Tallaght Cross for 64 families, and Killininney House for 21 single men, and has nomination rights to a hotel for placement of local families.

The council says all other hotel and B&B accommodation are operated through the Central Placement Services, and as a result the service can “only offer the accommodation that is available on any given day.”

Cllr Ward said: “SDCC has the resources to find places for these families. I’ll be asking them to look at it themselves.”

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