Irish girl, four, cries when told she’ll spend Christmas homeless

‘I have nowhere to stay, we have nowhere else’: Heartbreaking video of four-year-old girl crying after being told she will spend a third Christmas homeless shows reality of Ireland’s housing crisis

  • Leanne Dunleavy, 30, and daughter Poppy, four, from Dublin, are homeless
  • They have been in emergency accommodation and shelters for two years 
  • She filmed Poppy crying when she is told they won’t have a house for Christmas
  • Heartbreaking video sees young girl sobbing and saying  ‘I have nowhere to stay’

A video of a little girl sobbing after being told she has to spend her third Christmas in a hostel has highlighted the plight of the many young victims of Ireland’s housing crisis.

The footage shows Poppy, four, sitting on a bed in a hostel in Dublin, Ireland, crying over not having ‘anywhere to stay’ this Christmas.  

Poppy and her mother Leanne Dunleavy, 30, have been in and out of homeless shelters for the past two years. 

Homeless: The heartbreaking video of little Poppy, four, was filmed by her mother Leanne Dunleavy, 30, from Dublin, Ireland, who has been homeless for the past two years

Ms Dunleavy, a hair stylist, says they became homeless due to unforeseen circumstances and that she does not expect her situation to change anytime soon. 

Her video has racked up more than 167,000 views on Facebook, with many people blaming the Irish Government for Ms Dunleavy’s situation.   

One Facebook user wrote: ‘Poor child everyone needs to get out and march, bring this country to a stand still, that’s what needs to happen.’  


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Another said: ‘Utterly heartbreaking to watch, this country is a bloody disgrace.’  

The short clip shows Poppy distraught with red puffy cheeks and tears streaming down her face.

Ms Dunleavy is heard asking her why she is upset, to which a crying Poppy replies: ‘Because I have nowhere to stay, because we have nowhere else.’


Heartbreaking: Little Poppy is seen crying having been told she will be spending a third Christmas without a home 

One of many: Poppy is one of more than 3,700 children who are currently homeless and living in emergency accommodation in Ireland


Tragic: Ms Dunleavy, a hair stylist, says her and Poppy became homeless due to unforeseen circumstances and that she does not expect her situation to change anytime soon.

IRELAND’S HOMELESS CRISIS 

Some 10,000 people are homeless in Ireland, including more than 3,800 children, the latest official figures show, a number which has trebled in the past four years.

A 300 million euro affordable housing package has been allocated in this year’s budget, but the government has been criticised for not acting fast enough. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar defended his government’s record, pointing to nearly 20,000 new homes expected to be built before 2019.

‘There are limiting factors. There’s only so much concrete, only so many service sites, only so many construction workers. We’re ramping up things as quickly as we can,’ he said.

While Ireland was left with a surplus of houses after a property crash in 2008, it has come nowhere near providing the number needed to keep up with a rapid economic recovery, with rents in Dublin almost 20 per cent above their pre-crisis peak.

While rising, supply is still short of the 35,000 new builds analysts say are needed annually just to keep up with demand.

Ms Dunleavy then replies by asking how does that make you feel, to which little Poppy replies with ‘sad’.

Trying to make her daughter feel better, Ms Dunleavy insists: ‘But we’re going to be together.’

However, Poppy is still in bits, and cries out that she misses her old dog ‘Milly’.

Ms Dunleavy, again tries to reassure her child by saying; ‘When we get a new house we’ll get a new dog’.

‘I don’t want to get a new dog’ cries out Poppy before her mother replies says: ‘We’ll get a new house though won’t we.’

Poppy then cries further before asking: ‘Can I get a new dog?’

Speaking today, Ms Dunleavy said no child should have to suffer homelessness, as Poppy prepares for her third homeless Christmas.

She said: ‘I just wanted to show the government how it’s not only the parents that suffer because we get on with it.

‘It’s tearing the children apart, no child should be spending Christmas for the third time in homeless accommodation and by the looks of things it will probably be a fourth Christmas next year.  

‘Loads of lovely people have contacted me and a lot of women that are in the same situation and other people that used to be in the same situation.’  

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