The chair of homeless charity Tiglin has warned of a huge increase in demand for their services from asylum seekers.
Aubrey McCarthy told Newstalk Breakfast that the situation in Citywest was “not correct” and could not continue.
The State plans to keep the Citwest facility closed for international protection applicants for at least another four days. The Department of Children and Integration confirmed on Tuesday that adult IP applicants would not be accepted into the hub’s emergency accommodation area. Instead, they will have their information taken and will be contacted if accommodation becomes available.
“What has happened is, the main hub at Citywest – which was set up to hold 370 people – presently has 858 people staying there. That is not correct and it can’t continue,” said McCarthy.
“We operate the homeless service right beside Trinity College on Pearse Street called the Lighthouse, we also have homeless services beside the Four Courts and we also do refugee accommodation as well, but we are bursting at the seams.
“We usually serve up to 250 people with dinner but yesterday, we had a 30 per cent increase just on the meals.”
Mr McCarthy urged the Government to look at housing people in vacant buildings. There were old buildings that had been used for student accommodation, hotels, but could “perhaps” be in Nama.
“It needs to be an all-party, all-government response to it, so that we can deal with this shortage, which is going to last, I would say, until mid-February.”