The councillor who staged a protest outside Meath county council HQ yesterday has told Meath Live of his frustration with the local authority’s emergence y housing policy.
Ane he confirmed that prior to yesterdays incident he had lodged a formal complaint with the ombudsman over it.
He told us ‘It took me a bit of work but eventually I managed to get their official policy which reads, “That Meath County Council will respond to a homeless emergency if its as a result of a fire or flood or an adverse weather event. Otherwise they will respond on the next working day’.
‘Since the outbreak of the covid-19 emergency I have called the out of hours service twice. The first call was after I found three men sleeping rough in Navan town centre on a Friday evening. Again I got no assisstance or even a call back an offer of food bedding , absolutely nothing.
‘They still even during the worst health emergency the world has ever seen and when we were all been told to stay at home and stay safe, Meath County Council knowingly left these men on the streets followed their policy to the letter and only got back on the next working day, which in this case was the following Monday.
‘The second time is when I found a young vulnerable couple with mental health issues sleeping in a tent mid week. I rang seeking assisstance got none and they got back to me the next day. I have been a housing activist for many years and have volunteered with Inner City Helping Homeless for a few years. I have been shocked in the past on witnessing conditions some of our fellow citizens have to live in.
‘This has shocked me to the core , I cannot believe that the Council would retain this policy at this time during a health emergency. It makes a real mockery of the saying “We are all in this together” I am a realist and dont expect the Council to be able to respond to every emergency but as I have told the Council Officials many times, we have volunteers who are prepared to work with the councils assisstance to try to resolve these emergency situations when they arise.
‘For example in either of the above cases I would have or one of our volunteers would have transported these people to emergency accommodation if the council took the time to ring around their service providers to see was there an empty bed.’
Meath county council have not responded to requests for comment.