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Mental Health Laws Used To Force Homeless To Take Shelter


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Mental health laws were used to force a small number of homeless people to take shelter during the snow storm.

However, 14 homeless people in Dublin still slept on the streets last night.

The Peter McVerry Trust says staff were engaging with homeless people until 5.30 this morning.

Some rough sleepers were sectioned so they could be taken indoors under the mental health act.

Teams have been working around the clock to make sure there is enough shelter for rough sleepers during this week's freezing weather.

Niamh Randall from the Simon Community says that's never their first choice.

"This is always the option of a very, very, last resort and I would imagine that it would have been done on the basis that there was a real fear", she said.

Pat Doyle from the Peter Mc Verry Trust has been outlining why some people need to be persuaded to come indoors.

"Some of these people have been sleeping rough for a very long time, so it's partly habit".

He explained that they also might not want to join others inside because of "mental health, addiction, trust" and other issues.

Teams say they will re-engage with those still on the streets today, in the hope of encouraging them to take shelter.

The Taoiseach has praised the efforts of all those involved in looking after the homeless during the red weather alert.


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