Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (196, 197)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

196. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number of homeless persons that have died in Dublin during 2020; and the breakdown of deaths per month. [2290/21]

View answer

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

197. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number of homeless persons that have died in the Dublin region to date in 2021. [2291/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 196 and 197 together.

There have been a number of deaths, in recent months, of people who had been sleeping rough or accessing homeless services. Each of these deaths is a tragedy and I extend my sympathies to the families concerned.

While my Department does not collate the data requested, the Department of Health has commissioned the Health Research Board to undertake a one-year feasibility study to collect data on deaths among people who were homeless. The research will apply the methodology used to compile the National Drug Related Deaths Index, which is a census of drug-related deaths and deaths among drug users and those who are alcohol dependent in Ireland. The data collection for 2019 deaths, including deaths among people who were homeless, is reviewing approximately 17,000 files from all Coroner districts.

Separate to this, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and the HSE have jointly commissioned a detailed review of recent deaths in homeless services. It is important that we establish the facts concerning the circumstances involved, and that we base our response as policy makers and elected representatives on the best knowledge and evidence available.