Leitrim County Council rejects claim that homeless people are not properly received

Guckian describes new council as "an unholy coalition"

A Leitrim County Council official has rejected a claim by a councillor that the local authority does not deal properly with homeless people who present to them.

A claim by a local councillor that Leitrim County Council housing officers are not welcoming to anyone looking for their help was firmly rejected by a Council official.

Cllr Des Guckian made the claim at the May meeting of the local Municipal District when he said “the reception for most (homeless people) who come looking for Council help is not good or indeed welcoming.”

He was speaking following the tragic death of a young man from Portlaoise in the Costello Memorial Chapel in the town last March.

Cllr Guckian said the young man was sleeping rough and he questioned why the residents of Carrick-on-Shannon did not point him towards the Council offices.

He then said it was perhaps because they knew of the reception they would get.

“There are no excuses, the whole community must demand action from housing,” he said.

Cllr Guckian said an emergency accommodation fund must be drawn down or warned there will be other tragedies.

Joseph Gilhooley, Director of Services, Housing and Community, Corporate Services, Cultural and Emergency Services, rejected the councillor's claims and said the council fully engages with all homeless presentations to the local authority and the response of the service is appropriate at all times.

“The council wouldn't concur in any way that the reception is not good or people are not received in a welcoming way. Anyone who presents as a homeless case to the local authority will be dealt with compassionately and in accordance with the provisions and there is an emergency accommodation fund available to support those circumstances,” he stated.

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