Last year 800 children in Ireland sought emergency accommodation. Two-hundred of these children were under the ago of 12.

The children were placed in emergency hostels, residential services or emergency foster families. Social workers have said that due to a lack of facilities some of the children ended up in hospitals, police stations and in one case a 24-hour internet cafe.

In 2004 the number of homeless children was just 495 however over the last three years the figures have been significantly higher. Most of the children who are in need of emergency accommodation come from violent homes of families with drug or alcohol abuse problems.

Ineke Durville, president of  the Irish Association of Social Care Workers said "This is about children’s lives. They are young for a very short period of time and they have to have their needs met or they will be damaged.”