Sunday 11 December 2016

Homeless man with serious health condition finds shelter in a tent under Bono's house

Published 18/09/2015 | 02:30

Craig Laven camps out on Killiney beach in the shadow of Bono’s mansion
Craig Laven camps out on Killiney beach in the shadow of Bono’s mansion

A homeless man who has a serious heart condition has found shelter in a tent in the shadow of Bono's mansion in wealthy Killiney.

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Craig Laven admitted he is afraid to stay in emergency accommodation and has resorted to sleeping in the tent on the south Co Dublin beach.

The Scottish native, who moved to Ireland eight years ago, said he suffered from a massive heart attack earlier this year. He now fears for his health in the coming months as he suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease.

"I am not confident I'll survive, I am really not," he told RTÉ. "When late September, October and November comes in, it is going to be cold. It really is going to get cold. I actually get a bit emotional thinking about it, because I've got lung disease and a bad heart."

He described the idyllic surroundings where he finds himself sleeping in a tent "as a beautiful place".

But he added: "I'd rather not be here, I'd rather be in a house."

"It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing to people when they know you're sleeping in a tent and that you're homeless. It brings you down.

It is understood that Mr Laven, who has been sleeping in the tent for several weeks, receives a disability allowance but is not entitled to claim rent allowance.

He stayed in emergency accommodation for a brief period, but said he left a hostel in Dublin after he caught someone stealing his heart medication.

Fianna Fáil's Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen said Mr Laven's hardship is unfortunately too common and that homelessness has become one of the "greatest and gravest issues" right around the country.

Worried

"There are individual examples in Dublin and throughout the country that would shock you and leave you very worried and nervous as the winter approaches.

"I do fear for that gentleman, but I meet cases in my own constituency that worries me from a physical health perspective for those in question the mental health implications also is a great danger.

"I am calling on the Government to recognise this emergency and once having done that, to implement emergency measures to deal with this issue," he said last night.

Irish Independent

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