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Sunday 23 July 2017

Sharp increase in rough sleepers on anniversary of Corrie's death

Flowers and cards pictured in the doorway where Jonathan Corrie died on Dublin’s Molesworth Street. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Flowers and cards pictured in the doorway where Jonathan Corrie died on Dublin’s Molesworth Street. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

Laura Lynnot

The number of rough sleepers continues to rise sharply, on the second anniversary of the death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie.

Dublin City Council and the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) announced they would provide 230 winter beds by December 9 - up from around 200 beds in the previous two years. Last year, 91 people slept on the city streets, and in 2014 there were 168 rough sleepers counted in Dublin.

Jonathan Corrie
Jonathan Corrie

However, the November 22 count this year found 142 people sleeping rough.

Jonathan Corrie died on December 1, 2014, yards from the Dáil, which sent shockwaves through the city. An inquest found he had died from a 'multi-drug overdose'.

Homeless and housing charity, the Peter McVerry Trust, said the only way to solve the problem of rough sleepers was to make sustainable housing options available.

Read more: At least 142 people sleeping rough in Dublin as Council announces additional 230 beds

"These figures are not unexpected but nevertheless they are deeply disappointing and very frustrating," Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, said.

"According to the CSO, there are just over 35,000 vacant private homes in Dublin. While not all of these can be immediately returned to use, a significant proportion can and must be.

"The only way to do this effectively is to introduce a vacant property tax to push the houses back into the system, either for rent or for sale. If we are to address rough sleeping and other forms of homelessness, then it's essential that we make better use of all available housing stock."

Irish Independent

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