Homeless Carlow woman continues sleep-out protest at council offices

A homeless woman who was arrested for trespassing during a sleep-out protest at Carlow County Council offices last night is continuing her protest outside the offices again tonight, writes Ciara Phelan.

Karen Middleton and her young son had been living in emergency accommodation which she had been given following her original sit-in last month at the same offices.

Speaking at her latest protest she said emergency accommodation which had been allocated to her by the council has now been taken away without warning and that she had been given no explanation as to why.

Ms Middleton spent last night in a tent outside the council offices with friends and supporters.

Friend Kim Quigley has appealed on Facebook for tents.

Speaking to us this evening Kim said that the council refuse to give Karen an explanation as to why she is back sleeping on the street.

"She is still there and will be sleeping in the tent again tonight. The council refuse to give us a reason why the emergency accommodation was taken from her again, they won't even give any of the councillors a reason," she said.

"Her son is sleeping on a couch with family. She has nowhere to go, we are dealing with this for the last nine weeks and no one will answer our questions or phonecalls. Karen is attending a doctor because of stress levels," she said.

Karen had written to TD and Junior Housing Minister Damien English highlighting her plight but received a letter in which he expressed his sympathy for her situation.

"While I am sympathetic to your situation, I wish to explain that I have no function in respect of individual cases which are entirely a matter for housing authorities, in your case Carlow County Council," he wrote.


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