The shocking health problems affecting Ireland’s homeless children

Unhealthy living conditions contribute to rickets, malnutrition and mental health problems

Listen | 19:11
The Lynn Clinic which treats homeless children is based at Temple Street Children's University Hospital in Dublin.

On today’s In the News podcast we look at a new report that reveals the shocking health problems affecting children who spend years spent living in emergency accommodation.

In May there were 4,316 homeless children in the State, living in a range of emergency accommodation types, from B&Bs to family hubs, often in overcrowded conditions – an entire family sharing one small room, for example – or without adequate cooking facilities.

At the Lynn Clinic in Temple Street children’s hospital in Dublin, Dr Aoibheann Walsh is seeing malnutrition effects more common in developing countries, such as rickets, anaemia, faltering growth and extreme tooth-decay, and skin “infestations” like scabies.

Kitty Holland, Irish Times social affairs correspondent, has visited the clinic and talked to some parents about the reality of child homelessness and the devastating impact on a growing group of children.


Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Declan Conlon.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast