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O’Brien Calls For Homeless Task Force

Latest press release from Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien, issued on Wednesday, July 10th 2019…

Sinn Féin Cllr Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien calls for the establishment of a housing and homelessness Task Force for Bray.

At Bray Municipal District meeting on Tuesday 9th July, Cllr Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien proposed that a special meeting be called to deal with the housing and homeless situation and that it would be a one-item agenda. He described the current situation as a crisis. “If you look up the word crisis in a dictionary you will find that it is defined as, ‘a time of intense difficulty or danger’ or ‘a time when a difficult or important decision must be made’.” O’Brien said that whereas his preference would be to set up a Task Force on Housing and Homelessness, a Special Meeting would give an opportunity for the eight councillors in Bray to have a full discussion on the issue and make some collective decisions.”

“We are mandated by approx ten thousands votes to sit in this Chamber, I think we need to take responsibility for our response to this crisis”.

Outlining his proposal for the creation of a task force O’Brien insists that “The situation is not improving despite the intense efforts of the various stakeholders. It’s time for all of the relevant organisations to come together and treat the situation in Bray as an urgent crisis. We are struggling at every level from those in desperate need of affordable and social housing to those who are finding it impossible to access and afford rent in Bray. Not to mention those who are on HAP, RAS, sleeping rough night after night or those whose lives are put on hold while they languish in emergency accommodation with little more than a wish and a prayer for a solution.”

“It would be easy for Councillors to avoid this and throw our hands in the air saying “It’s out of my control” or to blame officials for the deficits but I am much more interested in being part of the solution. There is a reason I would call for a Task Force to be created, explains O’Brien, a Task Force is a specific collection of people with a specific set of goals and a specific time frame to deliver actions that achieve those goals.”

“All of the support structures are doing the best that they can but I believe the collective endeavors of those who have a role to play in responding to this urgent issue need to get together and formulate solutions and action plans immediately. It feels like we are putting plasters on a bleeding artery and although we know it’s not what’s needed we keep hoping that it heals. I’m calling on our Councillors, our TDs, our officials and all of the organisations who play a role in this housing and homelessness crisis to gather and set up a Task Force as a matter of urgency.”

Commenting on the proposal Deputy John Brady said “As the housing and homelessness crisis continues to spiral out of control, an emergency response is needed to tackle it. The creation of a task force is an important move in tackling the issue that is impacting on so many lives. I would hope that all of the Municipal Districts in Wicklow would take the lead from Bray and set one up too.”

Councillor Grace McManus added, “I wholeheartedly support this call from my colleague for a housing and homelessness Task Force. It is a positive, solution focused proposal which is a glimmer of hope within a dark and bleak scenario. For me, this Task Force has the potential to harness the desire, drive and potential for a real change in approach to housing within the County. However, it is not just a good idea; from my first month as a councillor alone I can say that this crisis is very real, it is very much in Bray, and is causing immeasurable suffering.

“This Task Force is an essential move to begin to address this.”