Press Release

Latest homeless statistics an ‘ongoing national trauma’, says Merchants Quay Ireland

Latest homeless statistics an ‘ongoing national trauma’, says Merchants Quay Ireland

Merchants Quay Ireland, the national homeless and addiction charity, has today said that the latest homeless statistics represent an ongoing national trauma.

The latest homeless statistics show that 9,987 people were in emergency accommodation in January 2019. The figures do not include the latest rough sleeper count, which showed a further 156 people are homeless in Dublin.  Combined, this brings the total number of people homeless in Ireland to 10,143.

Merchants Quay Ireland highlighted that the longer people are homeless, the more likely they are to fall into addiction and suffer from poor mental health. Homelessness is traumatic. The stress of homelessness can exacerbate mental illness and result in anxiety, fear, depression, and drug use.

With 10,143 people now homeless, the true scale of trauma being experienced is potentially unprecedented in modern Ireland.

CEO of Merchants Quay Ireland Paula Byrne said:

“Homelessness and addiction are combining with devastating effects.

“The latest homeless statistics show that Ireland is experiencing its biggest social crisis in generations. The high level of homelessness, as shown in today’s figures, coupled with Ireland’s ongoing drug epidemic, is causing a deep and widespread trauma.

“When people in addiction are forced to spend longer and longer in homelessness, their addiction and mental health can worsen. At Merchants Quay, we’ve seen a big increase in demand for our mental health services and, nationally, the number of people who are homeless while being treated for addiction has doubled.”


For more information, please contact:

Andrew Rooney
Communications Officer
Merchants Quay Ireland
T: 01 531 2958
M: 086 7793 208

Twitter: @MerchantsQuayIR

Notes to the Editor

Notes to the Editor


Notes to Editors

The latest homeless figures showed that 6,363 adults and 3,624 dependants were homeless during 21st – 27th January 2019


About Merchants Quay Ireland

Merchants Quay Ireland is a leading Irish charity working with people who are homeless and in addiction. The organisation provides services ranging from open access crisis intervention and health promotion services to day-support programmes, educational programmes, vocational training, residential treatment, detox and prison counselling.

To find out more about Merchants Quay Ireland’s work, please see our newly released short film:

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