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'It's not safe, I've been hospitalised three times' - murdered homeless man previously spoke of assaults

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Talented: Timothy Hourihane worked in prestigious restaurants in Britain. Photo: Provision

Talented: Timothy Hourihane worked in prestigious restaurants in Britain. Photo: Provision

The burned tent close to where his body was found. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The burned tent close to where his body was found. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

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Talented: Timothy Hourihane worked in prestigious restaurants in Britain. Photo: Provision

A homeless chef who was murdered in Cork revealed he had been attacked and hospitalised on multiple occasions prior to his death and feared for his safety.

Timothy (Timmy) Hourihane (53), from Bantry, was murdered in Cork City close to a burning tent where he been living for some time.

Other homeless people had raised the alarm after a tent caught fire at Mardyke Walk near University College Cork at 12.45am on Sunday and Mr Hourihane was found in an unconscious state by members of Cork Fire Brigade.

He had been assaulted and sustained serious injuries to his head and body, he was rushed to Cork University Hospital but later passed away.

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The burned tent close to where his body was found. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The burned tent close to where his body was found. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The burned tent close to where his body was found. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Speaking in 2017, Mr Hourihane said he had been admitted to hospital on various occasions following three attacks that occurred while he was living on the streets. 

"Wandering around, basically around the whole city, trying to find where can I sleep tonight, is it going to be safe. In Cork, in most places in Cork it's not safe in the city centre.

"I've been attacked three times and ended up in hospital because of those attacks," he told RedFM's Neil Prendeville.

"The person stamped on my hands and I ended up with fractures on my hand plus fractures down my right side. The actual rib went into my lung.

"I didn't have a cent in my pocket, and they probably thought I had something on me.

"I feel cold and not safe. It is really cold. We are a city on stone basically. We might have a duvet or a few blankets. You wake up at four and you are hypothermic and shaking with the cold."

Mr Hourihane, who worked abroad as a chef before returning to Ireland and said he struggled to find work at home.

He explained that he turned to alcohol in a bid to cope with being homeless.

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"I’m a chef. I was in the UK and I worked in the Hilton, and I actually completed my Leaving Cert, and I’ve tried and tried to get jobs here, putting CVs in, everything and no response back," he said.

He continued: "My drinking was very, very high at one stage, That’s why I had to go to treatment as well.

"When you're back on the street, and you can't go anywhere again, that monkey on my shoulder said go back to alcohol again. Unfortunately, that’s what happened," he said.

He added that he felt like a "zero" because he was homeless.

"I'm going to fight for myself, and I'd love to fight for all the people that are homeless as well. We need to stand up for ourselves at last.

"They look at you like you're a zero. They say, 'Oh he's homeless again,' or, 'this guys homeless, we've seen ten of those before'.

"They just walk past you like you're not there."

Garda Superintendent Michael Comyns confirmed detectives has launched a homicide investigation.

"We are appealing to those who were in Mardyke Walk area between last night and 1am this morning who may have witnessed any activity in the area to come forward," he said.

"We are also appealing to motorists who may have passed through Mardyke Walk around these times to make dash-cam footage available to us.

"There are a number of guest houses in the area with visitors to the city staying last night and we would ask that if anybody seen or heard anything, no matter how insignificant they think it is, to contact us.

"We are currently treating this as a homicide investigation."


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