Nearly 10,000 people were recorded as homeless during October, according to figures from the Department of Housing.

Of the 9,724 people without a home, 5,999 were adults and 3,725 were children.

The number of people accessing emergency accommodation nationally increased by 26.

Over 1,709 families were in emergency accommodation during October, which the Department of Housing says is 44 less than the previous month.

It said it is the third month in a row that the number of families presenting to homeless services decreased. 

The department said 70 families exited emergency accommodation in October and 112 families were prevented from entering emergency accommodation during that period.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said he welcomed the fall in families presenting to homeless services and said the numbers prevented from entering emergency accommodation was due to initiatives like the HAP Place-finders.

But he said there was still a "serious challenge" with homelessness and that there is "more to do".

Mr Murphy also said that the rise of people in emergency accommodation can partly be explained by new beds being provided to help take people from rough sleeping into supported services.

Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has called for independent clarity on the figures, accusing Mr Murphy and his department of "manipulating" the numbers.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Ó Broin said the figures should include people in temporary accommodation, adding that local authorities and academic experts have said these people are still accessing homeless services.

He said he believes the number of homeless could be as high as 12,000.

Homeless charity Focus Ireland, however, said that while much good work is being done the latest figures shows the Government has failed to take a number of vital decisions required to ease the homeless crisis.

Children's charity Barnardo said more than 14,000 people have signed a petition calling on Mr Murphy to place a six-month cap on the use of bed and breakfasts and hotels as emergency accommodation for children.