An investigation is under way into claims that a staff member at a B&B used as emergency accommodation for homeless and vulnerable women is sleeping with females referred there by the local council.

The claims are contained in a complaint lodged this week with Meath County Council by Alan Lawes an Independent councillor based in Navan,

In the complaint which has been seen by Meath Live Lawes says , ‘ I reported my concerns to one of your housing officers over the phone on Monday 31st of May 2021.

‘Another more senior housing officer rang me later that day to confirm my worries were true.

‘Just recently I learned that the same person is still working at the B&B. Meath County Council have a duty of care to the vulnerable homeless people we send to emergency accommodation, the consequences of this man’s actions on the vulnerable people he has been involved with is what causes me great concern.

‘The fall out for them could be grave and could have serious future consequences and for that reason we should stop sending any more vulnerable people there until we are assured by management it is safe to do so.

‘Also I feel the council should establish from the owners how long this gentleman was working there and write to all homeless women who have stayed there during that period to see if they hadx any issues and to establish the extent of this man’s activities and also offer them the appropriate supports.’

In a statement Meath County Council said, ”The Council is aware of the issue. The matters raised are currently being examined. The Council will not be making any further comment while this is ongoing’.

They refused to confirm if they had sent women to the property after Lawes initially raised the matter with them or if they insisted on staff employed in premises used for emergency accommodation being Garda vetted.

Lawes told us, ‘As a councillor you hear allegations against people every day of the week, what made this different was that multiple women, none of whom actually know each other, said the same thing to me and put forward the same persons name, that’s when I became concerned.’

Meath Live spoke to two women who were former residents at the accommodation and one confirmed she had slept with the individual referred to in the complaint and said, ‘I was drunk when it happened and although it was never said explicitly I was left with the impression things could be made awkward for me if I hadn’t slept with him.’

The second woman told us, ‘My friend told me she was sleeping with this guy, her room was next to mine on the bottom floor of the building and she showed me where he had built a set of steps using concrete blocks that he used to get up to her window and climb in to spend the night.’

When the allegations were put to the individual he strenuously denied them and said, ‘ They are female predators, good luck with the story no doubt you’ll print a lot of nonsense.’

The manager of the premises did not respond to questions and a request for a comment.

One source revealed that the council still have questions to answer, they said, ‘According to the complaint they have known about a potential problem since May 31st so have they continued to send vulnerable women there since then.

‘Do they require employees of places where they send vulnerable women to be Garda vetted? They have a duty of care to these women and they have to exercise that correctly.’