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'Government to blame' Young girl photographed at Dublin soup kitchen visits it every week

The woman who took the photo has revealed the girl and her family are in emergency accommodation

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Soup kitchen says girl and her family are regular visitors

Soup kitchen says girl and her family are regular visitors

Soup kitchen says girl and her family are regular visitors

The woman who took this heart-breaking photo of a little girl eating her only hot meal of the day, while sitting on a crate in Dublin, has revealed how the four-year-old has been coming to a soup kitchen since last September.

Jeri Byrne who took the photo that was later posted by the Ballymun Soup Run group on their Facebook page said the child uses the service every week.

It is understood that the girl and her family are staying in emergency homeless accommodation in a Dublin hotel.

Jeri told Josh Crosbie for The Pat Kenny Show today that people accessing the service, “come from all different walks of life”.

“We have people in emergency accommodation, that's where the children would come from, they come down with their mammies.

"They only thing they have in their bedroom is a kettle, so the only way they feed the children is out of chippers and stuff.

"We would usually make a coddle, a stew, a chicken curry, chicken pasta bake - anything that we think of, we just change it up every week."

On the photo, she said: "The child in the photo is four years of age, she uses the service every week.

"She has been using the service since September since we started up.

"So I'm not sure before then, how long she's in homeless accommodation - but she's been there since as long as September as far as I know."

The picture posted by the Ballymun Soup Run group that has since gone viral is simply captioned: "Our Government are to blame for this".

Under the post they have written: "It's so normal that they pop down for dinner it's sad. No cooking facilities what option has mammy got, chippers are bad everyday for young children. And not cheap either", they added.

Dougie from the Éire Nua Food Initiative said they are seeing more children in need of their food.

"On Easter Monday I counted seven prams, so that was seven toddlers, seven children barely able to walk - along with maybe another 20 or 30 other children with their parents queueing up.

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"I know the photograph from last week it's very emotive, and when it comes out it's kind of 'Jesus, we didn't know that'.

"But it's an everyday occurrence here".

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