Sunday, 18th March 2018
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Three of Ireland’s best-known charities have taken the unprecedented step of coming together to launch a national campaign The Refund Project which is asking members of the Irish public who can afford it, to consider donating their Irish Water refund to tackle the homelessness crisis.

At a special launch event in Dublin a national advertising campaign was unveiled and a special website went live on behalf of Simon Community, Peter McVerry Trust and Focus Ireland who will be the 3 beneficiaries of the initiative.

Almost 8500 people are now homeless in Ireland and more than 3000 of these are children. The Irish Water repayment scheme will see €173 million repaid to account holders in the coming weeks and the three charities are hoping that a proportion of the monies will be donated to deal with the homelessness crisis.

A special oversight group has been set up, chaired by the former Head of the Workplace Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, who says the initial public response has been hugely encouraging: "When we first floated this as a concept earlier this month we got a really positive public response. Thanks to a huge effort since then the refund project is today a reality and we are now accepting public donations. The idea has caught the public imagination simply because homelessness is such an enormous problem in this country today and we sense that ordinary people as well as wanting the State to act, would like to be able to play their part too. is their opportunity to act.

We know almost one million people are in line for Irish Water refunds and €173 million is being handed back. We expect that some people would be open to donating that money to us as it could be of enormous assistance to the 8,500 people who are currently homeless in this country."

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