'ashamed' | 

Dublin schoolgirl (11) opens up on her experience of being homeless

‘My Mum explained all about the flat being emergency accommodation. And worse…. we were being evicted!’

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

A Dublin schoolgirl (11) has opened up about her time living in emergency accommodation with her mum.

Molly McNulty admitted she was “ashamed” when she first realised she was homeless.

She had seen her mom protesting on the news, thinking she was ‘famous’ before understanding the situation.

"I was shocked. I had no idea what she was doing. I was like ‘wow, my mam is famous she is on RTÉ’.

"Afterwards, my mam came to collect me and had to tell me we were homeless,” the young Clongriffin native said at an event hosted by the Ombudsman for Children on Friday.

"I was shocked & confused. I knew what the word meant. I associated homeless with being poor and on the street.

"So I said to Mum, I was like, ‘no we have the flat, you work, we aren't poor, we can’t be homeless?’

"My Mum explained all about the flat being emergency accommodation. And worse…. we were being evicted!

"I was so embarrassed I didn't know how to describe my feelings till a few years later. I know now I was ashamed,” Molly said.

Molly McNulty (11) and the group of young people at the Child Talks event at Leinster House on Friday 18 November.

She was joined by a group of young people aged between 11 and 17 to speak on the theme of ‘If I was Taoiseach for a day...’ for a Child Talks event.

It is organised to allow children to share their stories, later taking place at Leinster House.

“It is significant that our fifth Child Talks took place in Leinster House,” said the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon.

"We wanted those in power, those making decisions that affect children, to hear from them directly so that they can fully consider their views.

“My job is to ensure that the rights of children are promoted and respected.

"I work hard to represent their views but there is no substitution for hearing from children themselves and supporting them to share their experiences, in their own words,” he said.

“The issues raised by the children are topical and relevant; they talked about their personal experience of homelessness, about why they feel supports for children are not good enough, about the constraints they feel the current education system puts on their ability to reach their potential, about equal access for everyone and a lot more.”

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