Brother Kevin Crowley, who runs the Capuchin Day Centre for homeless people in central Dublin, has criticised the Government for failing to make timely provision for rough sleepers during Storm Ophelia.

He was speaking as teams of staff from homeless charities combed the streets of cities and towns in search of vulnerable people who required transport to emergency shelters.

Brother Crowley made his comment to RTÉ News as staff and volunteers at the centre in Bow Lane, Smithfield took delivery of 120 sleeping bags, 100 more than their regular weekly supply.

The extra bags are required for an emergency shelter centre. Staff and volunteers will be providing the sleeping bags overnight on the floor of the centre's large dining area.

Although the floor is hard, and no privacy will be available, a number of rough sleepers who spoke to RTÉ News expressed relief and gratitude at being offered this port in the storm.

Brother Kevin, whose centre provides up to 900 meals a day to homeless and other vulnerable people, criticised the Government for not mentioning the homeless during its public statements in advance of Storm Ophelia.

"It shows the Government does not really care. There's nothing being put into action to help the homeless until the last moment," he said.

He said the priority is to ensure that no homeless people are killed by the storm and that the centre would remain open overnight and for as long as was necessary to accommodate people in need of emergency assistance.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has rejected criticism of the Government's response to rough sleepers.

This evening, he said that the vast majority of the 120 people who regularly sleep rough in Dublin city have been in direct contact with Dublin City Council, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and their partner organisations at this stage of the weather crisis.

He said the network of Government and voluntary bodies has had direct contact with 102 of the individuals concerned and continues to reach out to those who need support and shelter.

Mr Murphy said 77 people have accepted the offer of shelter, while 25 have turned it down.

He said that Housing First Teams will continue to work throughout the night with homeless individuals, and all rough sleepers will continue to be encouraged to avail of the beds and shelter on offer.

He said that last night in the Dublin region, there was spare bed capacity for homeless people and that an additional 200 emergency bed spaces were provided in the area today many of which are being used tonight.

The minister added that this evening, 100 of the additional beds remain available in facilities around the city, and he promised that if more are required, they will be provided.

Turning to provincial areas, Mr Murphy said homeless individuals and rough sleepers will also continue to be encouraged to avail of beds and shelter on offer there.

He indicated that his department will continue to work with all local authorities and will keep the situation under review.

He also confirmed that the DRHE will continue to provide services tomorrow to homeless individuals and that emergency beds and shelter would continue to be available to all those who need to avail of them tomorrow evening.

Mr Murphy thanked all those involved in supporting homeless individuals and rough sleepers across the country during the course of today’s storm.

A spokesperson said the Peter McVerry Trust has also been dealing with a large number of calls from members of the public alerting them to concerns about vulnerable homeless people.

It has opened emergency overnight centres that will provide 50 beds in Dublin, as well as shelter in Newbridge and Athy.

Dublin Simon said that its Rough Sleeper team is working with the Housing First team, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, as well as other charities, to coordinate outreach programmes to reach people on the streets across the capital.

It said additional shelter and staff have been provided across its accommodation services to ensure shelter is available.

Cork Simon made emergency beds available last night and said extra staff were brought in for tonight.

The service is extending the opening hours of its day centre in Cork city to ensure people have a safe shelter from the weather.

Galway Simon is also making extra shelter available in residential services should emergency shelters be overwhelmed.

Dundalk Simon has brought extra staff into its hostel, which will be open to all for the duration of the storm.

In the midlands, Simon's emergency accommodation shelters in Athlone and Tullamore will remain open to all rough sleepers for the duration of the storm.