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Monday 21 January 2019

Homeless woman dies in a doorway on busy city street

Gardaí and members of Simon Community remove bedding from where a woman was found dead
Gardaí and members of Simon Community remove bedding from where a woman was found dead
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A woman in her 40s who had been homeless for the past three years became the third rough sleeper to die on the streets in less than a fortnight.

The woman, who is understood to be from Cork city, was found dead in a doorway on Lower Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork city around 11am yesterday.

Gardaí are investigating but do not believe her death is suspicious and think she may have died in the early hours of yesterday.

Her body was taken to Cork University Hospital where a post mortem is to be conducted to determine the cause of death.

A source said the woman had been accessing local homeless services since 2014, but she was not believed to be a frequent or long-term rough sleeper.

The Cork Simon Community said the lack of a bed does not appear to be an issue in the Cork woman's case.

"We really don't know the circumstances, but it really does demonstrate how vulnerable people are who are sleeping rough," a spokesman said, adding beds were available under its Winter Night Shelter initiative run in conjunction with Cork City Council.

Her body was discovered at the same time Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy launched two reports on homeless prevention services by Focus Ireland in which the housing charity prevented 240 families from being made homeless.

He spoke of the tragic deaths of two rough sleepers in Dublin at the end of November, vowing "we want to make sure there's a place for everyone who sleeps rough", especially as the cold snap is due to hit today.

The launch took place in Buswells Hotel, across the street from where rough sleeper Jonathan Corrie died in a doorway just metres from Leinster House. His death in 2014 led to a public outcry over the homeless crisis.

Irish Independent

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