These heartbreaking images show homeless children having to queue in the streets for food at a charity giveaway.
In one picture a mum-of-three is seen eating pasta and sauce alongside her children – aged just three to six – who are sat on the floor.
In another shocking snapshot, a little boy in a pushchair is seen looking around as he waits in a queue for food.
The images emerged as campaigners revealed there are a staggering 4,000 homeless children in Ireland.
Volunteers revealed on Monday night van loads full of food to help those without permanent accommodation run out of grub within an hour.
Tony Walsh of Feed Our Homeless told The Irish Mirror : “I’m calling on Minister Murphy to step down because he’s failed in his role.
"It’s a crying shame to see 4,000 children homeless and over 10,000 overall without a home.
“It’s shocking, it’s shameful and it’s disgraceful," he continued.
“Since he took up his role year-on-year the numbers have risen right across the board.
“That’s families, rough-sleepers, 18-to-25s, children coming from care, the figures don’t lie.
“We have been calling on Mr Murphy to build more public housing on a bigger and faster scale, but there’s no political will from the Government. It’s just getting worse.”
Mr Walsh urged the minister to see the “massive queues” of hungry families and kids for himself.
But he added: “No, he hasn’t ever came down. Ourselves and other charities deal with the homeless on a daily basis.
“I’d call on Mr Murphy to come out with us one night and just experience what we experience on a nightly basis.
“He could come around with our outreach team and see the work we do and see the people we engage with at the soup kitchen. It’s an eye-opener.
“We have newborns in prams and also a two-year-old regularly coming down for food from a hotel.
“Mr Murphy has no interest in coming down because I think it’d just make a show of him. It really would.
"I’ve been inviting Minister Murphy but you very seldom get a reply.
“The one reply we did get off him was months ago and that he was doing his best to tackle the housing crisis.” Official figures show a record number of people here – almost 10,400 including about 3,800 kids – were homeless in April.
Mr Walsh spent 20 years homeless and founded Feed Our Homeless three years ago after he graduated with a degree in addiction.
The charity brings a van load of food to share amongst adults and children from 7pm until 10pm on College Green in Dublin on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights.
Companies such as Tesco, Dominos and restaurants, bars and other outlets make donations but Mr Walsh said the food is now gone in record time.
He continued: “We are literally full up to the brim with food, but the amount of people that we are feeding now is unbelievable. Last year the food could last two hours or more.
“We had lot of pizzas, about seven different types of hot pots and stews on Sunday, but within an hour all that was gone. We’re making vast amounts of food you have to see it to believe it.”
Mr Walsh said their outreach team is out seven nights a week, which goes around the doorways giving out tea, coffee, sandwiches and sleeping bags.
He claimed last year they were engaging with about 200 to 250 people per night on the soup kitchens.
The charity worker added: “We had a massive queue on Sunday night. The numbers are just consistently growing.
“We’re feeding up to 400 people [per night] now, which is 1,200 a week on the soup kitchen alone.
“They come for hot food, warm clothing and engage with our support team. It’s very sad.
When we originally set up three years ago we were feeding 100 people.
“These are families with children in hotels which don’t have cooking facilities, rough sleepers and also we’re seeing families who do have homes but can’t afford to put food on the table because the rents are so high.”
He said the real crisis now is that there’s nowhere for homeless families to go.
Mr Walsh concluded: “This is the worst I’ve seen it. I’ve worked in the homeless services for around 10 years and I haven’t seen it like this.
“We ring the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and we say we have a family here presenting to us with three children and they’ll say, ‘I’m sorry we don’t have anywhere. There’s a load of numbers for you to ring a hotel.’
“So we’ve to ring around every hotel, and particularly if there’s a match on [it’s practically impossible].
“The fear is as more families come on stream where do they go?
“Thank God we didn’t get anybody on Sunday who presented as homeless, because the Dublin match was on in Croke Park and we definitely wouldn’t have got a hotel, not a hope.
“There’s a fear that we’re going to go back to families sleeping in police stations with children.
Mr Walsh said there are emergency beds, but many people “don’t feel safe there” and “are terrified” by the rampant drug use “so return to the doorways”.
He added: “I deal with four men on Grafton Street in their 30s and early 40s. They sleep in the doorway and they go to work every morning and they work on a building site.
“They return to that doorway at the end of the night.
“They can’t get anywhere because the rents are so high. The average apartment now is just under €1,400. It’s outrageous.”
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