Director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive Eileen Gleeson has disputed claims in the Dáil today by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald that 86 people slept rough in Dublin last night and that others were thrown out of hostels first thing this morning and are sitting around in the cold in tents.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Ms Gleeson said there was no shortage of beds last night and no need for anyone to sleep rough.

She said the DRHE has a procedure in place for weather events and their response is dictated by the weather.

She said they are fully aware of the impact of this yellow weather warning and teams are working with people on this basis.

Ms Gleeson said they implemented the Cold Weather Strategy in November 2018 with a phased opening of 320 beds across the region and a targeted response. 

There are 2,400 singles in 24-hour beds across the city and around 150 people who are facilitated on a one-night-only, and if they have to leave their accommodation there are a number of day services available across the city for them to use that are open from 7am to 8.15pm.

Ms Gleeson has appealed to the public to contact www.homelessdublin.ie if they see any homeless people around the city in the bad weather so that the outreach teams can link up with them.

She said homelessness is a complicated thing, it is extremely difficult to get people to engage for a number of reasons and that there are currently around 20-30 in the greater Dublin region who just will not engage.

But she said it is important to try to work with these people as many of them simply are not aware that the weather warning is in place or indeed how bad it is likely to get.