A new study reveals that women account for over four in ten homeless adults in the State, with almost half of those in Dublin.

The Trinity College research suggests the Republic of Ireland has the most feminised homeless population in the European Union.

It says the true overall picture is likely to be worse as women are less likely to register as homeless for fear of being stigmatised.

The study says that last year, almost two-thirds of homeless family households were headed by lone mothers aged in their 20s or 30s, who became homeless after losing privately rented housing.

The authors cite a separate study of 60 homeless women which found that two-thirds had experienced intimate partner violence.

They say research in several EU countries, including Ireland, reveals women's distrust of services and their staff, often due to a perception that their autonomy and decision-making capacities are ignored. 

It points to strong evidence that services are failing to respond adequately to the needs of women and says policy must stop prioritising male breadwinners over lone mothers.

The study also recommends giving urgent attention to providing affordable and appropriate housing for homeless women and their children.

However, it cautions that Family Hubs are not an appropriate, acceptable or sustainable solution.

The study - 'Women's Homelessness in Europe' - finds that women comprise 42% of the total adult homeless population in the State with Dublin accounting for 47%. 

In France it stands at 38%, Sweden 34% while Poland and Denmark are more than ten percentage points below that.