A major housing rally will take place outside the Dail this lunchtime.

The event is being organised by a number of groups and coalitions including the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Sinn Fein and The Union of Students in Ireland.

Protesters are calling for 'radical changes' to the government's housing policies.

Meanwhile, COPE Galway says the homeless situation in Galway is worse than ever.

Their most recent one-day census carried out two weeks ago identified 199 adults and 197 children as living in emergency accomodation.

Of this figure, 86 were families.

COPE Galway says these are very different to the official homeless figures reported last week by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government, which listed 68 families and 154 children as homeless in the entire west region of Galway, Mayo & Roscommon.

Martin O'Connor, assistant CEO of COPE Galway says the official figures do not include people sleeping rough, or the growing numbers of families without a home who are staying with friends and relatives.

He told Midwest News that the Department's figures are not an accurate reflection of the extent of homelessness in Galway

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