Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Joe Nolan

A HOMELESS Carlow man has been sleeping in a Dublin City car park while he is unable to secure emergency accommodation.

Joe Nolan appeared on an RTÉ Investigates special on homelessness, which focused on Dublin city. The programme shows how Mr Nolan attempts to get emergency accommodation.

The issue of rough sleepers from outside Dublin being denied an emergency bed arose last year.

In December, housing minister Darragh O’Brien said nobody is being denied a hostel bed and location was no barrier.

Those who are sleeping rough are supposed to be able to get an emergency hostel bed by ringing the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.

Mr Nolan rings the DRHE but is told he can’t be booked everywhere because he has a registered address in Carlow. Despite pleading his case, the DRHE operator says: ‘You have registered in Carlow so you should interact with them. Now that you are in Dublin we can’t do anything for you, unfortunately.’

The operator soon hangs up on him.

‘Very disappointed, I was looking for a bit of help,’ Mr Nolan tells reporter Kieran Dineen.

‘I am angry at the minute. Go back to Carlow? Go back to Carlow for what? To be told you may crash somewhere else. You may go somewhere else … It’s hard, very hard, straight up.’

Apologising for what happened to Mr Nolan and to another man who encountered similar treatment, minister O’Brien said: ‘There is no barrier to those who need emergency accommodation. If someone rings up in Dublin or in another city, local connection is no barrier to accessing that emergency accommodation. We want to make sure that happens.’

Mr Nolan’s appearance on the programme concludes with viewers seeing that he has been sleeping next to a generator in a Dublin car park for the past 18 weeks.

‘I hope I’d be happy, but at the moment nothing is making me happy,’ he says.

In harrowing scenes, Mr Nolan breaks down in tears as he lies down in his bed.

The programme says Mr Nolan had been homeless since 2011 after serving a sentence for drug dealing.

Comments are closed.

Contact Newsdesk: +353 59 9170100

More Carlow News