Crisis as numbers sleeping rough and begging spiral
THE increasing problem of people sleeping rough and begging around the town centre in Drogheda was highlighted at the October meeting of Drogheda Municipal District.
A number of councillors said they were aware of at least a dozen people who are sleeping rough in the town, including under and around the Bridge of Peace and around the Bullring.
Councillor Frank Godfrey claimed their were ‘up to 50’ people sleeping rough around the town and said this was very offputting for visitors and tourists coming into the town.
‘One night I was out at 10pm and I found five people, including a woman, sleeping on the Bridge, they told me they were from Bosnia. There was another young couple sleeping at Super Valu. The amount of people begging around town is shocking, the gardaí are regularly out trying to move them on.’
However, Councillor Oliver Tully disputed the figures and admonished Councillor Godfrey for ‘plucking figures from the sky’.
‘The reality is that for the past five years the rough sleeper count has been done and the officials haven’t found one person sleeping rough,’ he said.
However, Councillor Tommy Byrne said he agreed with Councillor Godfrey and he had seen six people sleeping rough on the Bridge of Peace. Senior Executive Engineer Martina Sheeran said: ‘If there are people sleeping rough would you ask them to call into our homeless clinic, we had one in Drogheda, and we will help them however we can.’
Cllr Oliver Tully