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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Tánaiste warns 'more needs to be done' after man availing of homeless support dies in Cork

Tanaiste Simon Coveney Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Tanaiste Simon Coveney Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Ralph Riegel

TÁNAISTE Simon Coveney warned that more needs to be done to tackle homelessness as a third person who was availing of support services in Cork died in tragic circumstances.

The latest death involved a 47-year-old Polish man who was found unresponsive lying in a doorway in Cork city centre last Saturday.

Gardaí are not treating the death as suspicious.

Toxicology tests are now awaited to determine if the man's death was linked to a drugs overdose.

A file is being prepared for Cork Coroner Philip Comyn.

The Polish national is the third person who was availing of homelessness support services in Cork to die so far this year.

Both previous deaths involved men in their 30s who had been availing of homelessness support services around the city centre.

Mr Coveney, speaking in Cork, said everyone in Government is aware of the pressing need to tackle homelessness.

"I would say that anybody who thinks that homelessness and housing are not a priority for Government does not understand what we are trying to do," he said.

"That does not mean that there are not tragedies happening which remind the Government every week of the urgency of this issue.

"This is why we have dramatically increased budgets in this area.

"We are continuing to work with local government to try to ensure the emergency solutions that are in place for people who are homeless are working.

"We will continue to work with local government to try to be more effective in this area.

"Whenever somebody dies tragically on our streets it is a reminder that the Government needs to do more," he said.

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