As the country braces itself for or one of its coldest weeks in years, the Director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive has said 104 extra beds were in the system last night.

Eileen Gleeson said additional outreach teams were in place to concentrate on those who would not normally look for accommodation.

She said the biggest challenge would be informing rough sleepers about the forecast.

Ms Gleeson urged people to contact the executive if they see someone sleeping rough and said that there is a link on the DRHE's website to report rough sleepers.

She said that services are being enhanced to remain open 24 hours so that no one will have to stay on the streets during the cold snap.

"We have outreach teams on the street, who are working to identify these people and we have a link on our homeless website," Ms Gleeson said.

"It's vitally important that anyone who sees a person who's homeless that they link them onto the rough sleeper report, so that we can get to them."


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The Director of Advocacy for Focus Ireland has said the bad weather is a potential death sentence for rough sleepers around the country.

Mike Allen said extra spaces are being made available and teams will be out every night checking on the most vulnerable. He said that there are roughly 100 rough sleepers in Dublin on any given night, with at least 30 being extremely vulnerable.

He said: "It's potentially a death sentence if the weather gets as cold as Met Éireann says it's going to be. Our teams are out every night.

"They know where people tend to sleep and they know the people who are vulnerable, so we have a list of about 30 people who are extremely vulnerable, who are maybe elderly or unwell. We will contact them and try to convince them to take up the offers of shelter."

The Chief Executive of Alone, a charity which supports older people, has said that cold weather for older people is a public health issue.

Speaking on RTÉ's News At One, Sean Moynihan advised older people to link in with their community and to keep warm over the coming days, saying that people must prioritise fuel buying fuel.

Mr Moynihan said that he believes communities will come together over the next few days.

Meanwhile, the Irish Farmers' Association has said there are concerns for animals during the cold weather.

IFA President Joe Healy said farmers should ensure they have enough silage and they should grit yards that animals might pass through.

He added that covering pipes, to ensure they do not freeze, would be a good idea.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, he said this is the busiest period of the year across all farms, as it is lambing season.

Mr Healy also urged neighbours to check in on each other.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture said that farmers who have any animal welfare issues during the cold snap can contact the department’s animal welfare helpline on 01-607-2379, or call save 0761-064-408.