Despite the image of affluent Celtic Tiger emigrants, a 2000 report revealed that 10% of those sleeping rough on the streets of London were Irish.
A report into homelessness by charity Shelter found that only about 1.5% of Britain's population was Irish-born, with almost half of these were living in London. According to the report a disproportionate number of Irish were disadvantaged when it came to accommodation and the problem was going unnoticed because of failure to monitor the Irish as a separate ethnic group. Chris Holmes, director of Shelter, says policy can only be developed with this monitoring in place.
The report also showed that
Almost a quarter of those who use homeless day centres in London are Irish and single. Among older people the likely to be mental health problems or alcoholism. With younger homeless people, it can be drug abuse of family breakdown.
Brian O'Connell reports for RTÉ News on 25 May 2000.