Monday 22 July 2019

'It's freezing out there' - charity responds as homeless man found dead in Dublin

The man was brought to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin but later passed away.
The man was brought to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin but later passed away.

Denise Calnan and Sasha Brady

A homeless charity have paid tribute to a man who was found dead in Dublin.

Gardaí are investigating the sudden death of the man who was believed to be sleeping rough.

Emergency services were called to Sandford Close, Ranelagh at approximately 1.30pm yesterday.

It is understood the man had been sleeping in a tent near the grounds of Gonzaga College, Ranelagh and was discovered by caretaking staff.

The man was brought to St Vincent's Hospital in a serious condition but later passed away.

Gardaí have confirmed that the matter is under investigation but they are not treating his death as suspicious.

Peter McVerry Trust CEO Pat Doyle told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland that his "heart goes out" to people sleeping rough at the moment.

"It's freezing out there," he said.

"It's never a good time... but now is not a good time to be a rough sleeper, particularly in the cold weather."

Mr Doyle said the winter initiative for the homeless is well underway, and the Peter McVerry Trust are "bringing in beds all the time".

"As soon as the temperatures drop, we bring in extra places.

"In the last few days alone, we've brought in an extra 15 spaces.

"But on the really cold night two or three nights ago, we only used nine out of those 15 places.

"It's difficult to get some people to come in.

"Sometimes the more complex cases won't come in, or some people will come to an apartment but they won't come into a hostel."

Mr Doyle said the gentleman probably picked the area for "shelter, privacy and safety."

"It's off the beaten track," he said.

"People are all the time seeking new places and pushing out into the suburbs."

Last night, a spokesperson for the charity said; "At present we have just over 180 people sleeping rough in Dublin, and while that is a record high, we surely can secure 180 homes out of the 3,800 social houses to be built next year for our most vulnerable citizens."

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