A HOMELESS man who died of hypothermia after sleeping rough in freezing temperatures was due to move into supported housing.
Paul Doyle (33), from Bray, Co Wicklow, was found outside the entrance to a Tesco Express supermarket in Quinsboro Road in the town just before 7am on Saturday.
Mr Doyle, who had suffered from mental health and addiction problems, had been sleeping rough for more than a year.
However, he had been a regular visitor to the nearby Five Loaves homeless centre in Albert Walk, and was preparing to move into one of six self-contained rooms provided by the centre through its supported housing programme.
The house, in Old Soldiers Road in Bray, provides temporary accommodation for six homeless people who have successfully completed a six-week rehab programme.
Annette Plunkett of Five Loaves said: "He would have moved into the house in the coming weeks.
"He was willing to take up one of the units because he's been homeless for quite a while.
"He was always transient and most nights he slept around the Tesco store. For him to die in that manner is just so tragic. To die on the street really is as bad as it gets.
"When you've been on the street for a long time you lose your dignity. A lot of them feel unwanted and unloved."
She said Mr Barry liked listening to music and often participated in literacy classes organised by the centre.
"He had a great memory and would listen to a tune on the radio and remember the name of artists and songs in the charts," she said.
Mr Barry had visited Five Loaves on the evening before he died and told staff he planned to spend Christmas Day with friends at the centre.
"He was his usual self on Friday, he wasn't any different," said Ms Plunkett. "He was going to have Christmas dinner here
"He was a very nice man who was just caught up with all the issues that come with being homeless. It's so tragic. He'll be sorely missed by everyone at the centre."
Mr Barry's family had been trying to secure accommodation for him, while his mother visited him regularly at the centre. His father did not wish to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent.
Meanwhile, the doors of two public buildings in Bray will be left open to provide shelter for those who are sleeping rough.
Bray Town Council said that a lifeguard's hut and Bray Heritage Centre would both be left open for people who weren't availing of hostels.