Offaly woman faced with night in Garda station due to lack of emergency accommodation
A woman identifying as homeless was last night faced with spending a night in the public office of Tullamore Garda Station after being informed by Offaly County Council that there were no emergency accommodation places available for her on Monday evening, November 12.
The woman from Offaly attended the Offaly County Council buildings on Charleville Road, Tullamore, for much of the day on Monday in the hope of securing a place in emergency accommodation.
When the woman was informed of the lack of availability on that particular evening, she, and a homelessness campaigner, Anna Kavanagh who was accompanying her, refused to leave the County Council buildings when their offices were due to close.
Gardaí were called to deal with the situation.
Gardaí confirmed to the Offaly Express that they were called to the County Council Offices on Charleville Road, Tullamore at approximately 5.30pm on Monday, November 12.
"A female was asked to leave the premises and left a short time later on request of An Garda Síochána," they said.
A Facebook live video taken of the interaction between the woman, gardaí and the homelessness campaigner revealed that gardaí told the woman she could stay in the public office of Tullamore Garda Station for the night, although they pointed out this was "not ideal."
A Garda member can be heard in the video saying that council staff informed him the woman had previously been offered emergency accommodation twice but failed to avail of it.
WATCH: Campaigner Anna Kavanagh posts a video of the interaction with gardaí
The homeless woman later said she would "knock on a few more doors and ring a few bells" before resorting to spending the night in the Garda Station.
It's understood the homelessness campaigner in question subsequently paid for the woman to spend the night in a B&B locally.
The homeless woman was given written confirmation of an appointment to meet with the Offaly County Council Housing Section again on Tuesday, November 13, to seek further resolution.
The woman claims she has nowhere to stay on an ongoing basis having recently left an abusive relationship.
Offaly County Council was contacted for comment. In response to the Offaly Express, they said: "Offaly County Council cannot comment on individual cases."