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Archbishop calls for talks to tackle the homeless crisis

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government will host a summit on Thursday involving those fighting homelessness

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government will host a summit on Thursday involving those fighting homelessness

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government will host a summit on Thursday involving those fighting homelessness

THE Archbishop of Dublin has called for a public summit to adddress the homeless crisis after Jonathan Corrie was found dead just metres from the Dail.

Diarmuid Martin said that he was deeply concerned about a “deeply divided” Dublin.

While thousands are celebrting the spirit of Christmas and “rejoyce with increased spending”, the number sleeping rough on the streets is rising, Dr Martin said.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke has said he would volunteer to host the summit on homelessness at the Mansion House.

“I think it is an excellent idea and I wouldn’t mind hosting it in the Mansion House so long as a there is a representative of the Taoiseach there and it doesn’t turn out to be a talking shop,” Mr Burke told the Herald.

He also vowed not to attend any more meetings or presentations on the homeless issue unless there was going to be “immediate positive action”.

“We need less of the ‘we will do something in six weeks time’ attitude and instead need action now from all agencies,” he said.

The Dublin Lord Mayor said it was “shameful” that a homeless person should die on our city streets.

“It is shameful that someone should die on the streets facing our parliament, and I hope it is a wake-up call to our political leaders about the homeless crisis in Dublin,” Mr Burke said.

“My thoughts, my prayers and my sympathies go out to this man’s family.

“With political will this problem can be overcome. Without political action there will be more deaths,” he added.

Later on this evening, a candlelit vigil will be held outside the Dail to remember the man who was found dead yesterday.

Jonathan Corrie, who was in his 40s, was found dead by a passerby on Monday morning.

A homeless charity has said that it would not have been able to accommodate Mr Corrie, even if he had contacted them as they were full to capacity.

Sam McGuinness from the Dublin Simon Community said that the charity was familiar with the man, but he would have struggled to find accommodation on Sunday night.

“Even if he wanted to come in, and sometimes he has and sometimes he hasn’t, presently, the situation is so serious that we couldn’t in any way guarantee him accommodation,” he said.

Mr McGuinness said that a recent survey of rough sleepers on the streets of the capital found 168 people bedded down on November 11.

It was the highest figure ever recorded since the official count began in 2007.

The 2014 winter figure was a 32pc increase on spring of 2014, when there were 127 on the streets and a nearly  21pc increase on the winter 2013 figure of 139.

In the last two years rough sleeping has risen by 93pc, nearly double the count of winter 2012 of 87.

hnews@herald.ie


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