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Homeless Emergency Measures In Place For Pope Visit


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The Peter McVerry Trust has said it is confident it will be able to provide shelter for the homeless during the Pope's visit.

Tens of thousands of people from 116 different countries are landing in Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, which opened yesterday evening.

The influx is expected to increase pressure on homeless services, with families staying in hotel accommodation potentially having to vacate as the pilgrims arrive.

Fr Peter McVerry has consistently warned of the danger of families being forced out on the street as the Pontiff arrives, warning that homeless services face being “overwhelmed when the Pope comes.”

Preparations

This morning, Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust said the charity has been putting in as much preparation for the visit as it did for Storms Emma and Ophelia.

Mr Doyle said he is confident the charity will be able to provide families who find themselves with nowhere to go with the appropriate supports throughout the visit.

He said one of the charity’s biggest priorities is making sure it can get staff into the city through all the restrictions: 

“We have 755 beds across the city and we want to make sure we have enough staff to manage them,” he said.

“We are looking at staff access to the city.

“Those that can’t get access in, we have taken them off the shift and asked others to work overtime.

“We have been assured by the civil authorities and by the gardaí that we will have access and where we don’t have access by van or by bus, we will pound the streets.

“We will have access to all areas.”

 

Transport

The charity has also made its transport vehicles available to help people reach the accommodation – particularly on the outskirts of the city.

The first events of the Catholic Church's World Meeting of Families get underway in Dublin today. 

They conclude with a two-day visit to Ireland by the Pope this weekend.


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