A HOMELESS man died from the cold on the streets of Bray on Saturday, two days before he was due to move into a new home.
Paul Doyle (33), originally from Killarney Heights, was found unconscious outside Tesco Express on Quinnsborough Road in Bray in the early hours of Saturday morning
' To die on the streets is the worst thing that can happen to a person,' said Annette Plunkett of Five Loaves which had been helping him find accommodation.
Paul had been seen in the Tesco store on Friday evening and bought some drink there. He was found unconscious outside the store early on Saturday, but was later pronounced dead at Loughlinstown Hospital. Garda believe his death was caused by hypothermia. Paul's solicitor Joe Maguire described him as 'a very sad and harmless boy who was let down by the system.
Paul Doyle suffered from drug and alcohol addictions and had been homeless for some years. Joe added that while the courts had sent the Bray man for rehabilitation, he was not otherwise provided with accommodation and support.
' This is the thin end of the wedge with budget cuts. Paul cried out for help.
'He thought the system would help him and it did not,' said Mr. Maguire.
Paul was a service user at Bray's Wicklow Homeless Five Loaves centre. He went there every day for food and a change of clothes. Staff members at the centre are devastated by his tragic death.
Five Loaves Centre manager Claire Crawley had just managed to arrange supported accommodation for Paul. He was due to move in to his new home on Monday.
Claire befriended Paul and he had described her as his ' best friend'. She went over and above the call of duty with him and was 'with him all the way', according to Annette.
Annette said that WH Five Loaves has one house operating successfully in Bray already for six previously homeless men who have been through the rehabilitation process.
She said that the charity is saving and fundraising for another building however money will be needed to run it with the high supports necessary for people like Paul.