An Irish mother of seven has uploaded a photo of five of her children sleeping rough at Tallaght Garda police station last night. The picture has since gone viral and is highlighting the current homelessness problem in Ireland.
Of the five kids pictured, some are wearing their school uniform and none of them have any blankets or duvets covering them.
28-year-old Margaret Cash went to the police station with six of her children on the advice of Focus Ireland to present themselves as homeless.
Speaking to The Irish Times she said: "I didn't sleep, the kids eventually fell asleep around 1am. It was so hard.
"People coming in and out and the doors opening and closing. The baby was screaming, crying, he had no way of turning around, he was stuck in the buggy. It was horrible.
"I've lost myself, I can't even speak. I don't know whether I'm coming or going."
After Margaret uploaded the photos, they were shared by Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless.
He said: "The mother of the family last night posted the picture herself from Tallaght Garda Station of herself and her family of seven that were actually referred to Tallaght Garda Station last night.
"Alongside that, there were eight other families that were referred to Garda Stations because of a lack of accommodation.
"This is what this country has succumbed to, this is how homeless services are treating our children."
In a later tweet, Flynn confirmed that the family had found accommodation for 'the forseeable' future.
The images come at a time when Ireland is looking to spend around €3 million on security for the Pope's upcoming visit, which is causing much controversy given the current homeless situation.
Commenting on the crisis, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) issued the following statement: "We were notified by the Family Homeless Action Team that they were actively engaged with 10 families, who were unable to source their own accommodation.
"Our central placement team were able to source emergency accommodation for five of the families, one family refused the offer of accommodation, two of the families were linked back in with their region (outside of Dublin) and two did not seek further assistance."
Featured Image Credit: Margaret Cash/Inner City Helping Homeless