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Champion of the poor is snubbed by Minister at emergency homeless summit

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Tribute: Jonathan Corrie’s children Natasha and Nathan travelled with mum Catherine to visit spot where their dad died

Tribute: Jonathan Corrie’s children Natasha and Nathan travelled with mum Catherine to visit spot where their dad died

Brother Kevin Crowley.

Brother Kevin Crowley.

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Tribute: Jonathan Corrie’s children Natasha and Nathan travelled with mum Catherine to visit spot where their dad died

One of the biggest campaigners for homeless people in Dublin has not been invited to today's emergency summit.

Br Kevin Crowley from the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street, has been seeking help for those without homes for years, but he told the Herald he did not get an invite to attend today's summit in the Custom House organised by Minister Alan Kelly.

"Maybe I'd be a nuisance to them," said Br Kevin.

"Homeless people have been dying on the streets for years but it took one outside the Dail to get attention," he added.

"If I was there I'd tell them there should be less talk and more action," he said.

"Instead of putting up people in hotels and spending a fortune with nothing to show for it at the end they should be building housing units for homeless people," Br Kevin explained.

"What is needed is housing where people can have dignity and respect, especially for people with families," he added.

The Capuchin Day Centre runs a daily provision of meals and food parcels for those in need.

"Yesterday we had 2,000 people through our centre for breakfast, food parcels and dinner," said Br Kevin.

Charities and agencies that have been invited to today's summit include Merchant Quay Ireland, Trust, Barnardos, Focus Ireland, and the Simon Communities of Ireland.

Peter McVerry Trust, Threshold, NABCO (National Association of Building Co-operatives), Irish Council for Social Housing, Crosscare, Sophia Housing, and Society of St Vincent DePaul, are also due to be represented but not invite was extended to Br Crowley who constantly campaigns for homeless and poor people in the city.

The intention is to brainstorm and listen to what the various representatives have to suggest.

Meanwhile, the family of Jonathan Corrie have paid an emotional tribute to him today as the spot where the homeless man died on Molesworth Street becomes a shrine to him.

Today Natasha McNeill (14) told how she and her brother Nathan (16) would travel to search the streets of Dublin for their dad for two years.

"My daddy was human too," said Natasha.

"We used to go up and down to Dublin to try to find him. We would ask people on the streets and they would say things like 'he was here two minutes ago'," she added.

Jonathan had a small wallet when he was found dead on Molesworth Street on Monday.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Inside were photographs of his children and a number for his former partner and the children's mother, Catherine.

"We had good times with him. When we needed anything he would always try his best to be there for me and my brother," said Natasha in a statement.

"My dad was a lovely caring man but he had a cruel life. I always wanted him to stay with me when he was leaving to go back to Dublin, but he never could," she added.

"The last time I saw him was around two years ago and he didn't look too well, but he seemed to be hanging in there," Natasha explained.

"My dad is at peace now and I feel more relieved that he is now in a better place where he is warm, not hungry and being looked down on," she added.

"RIP to my angel daddy, he will never be forgotten by me, and that's a promise. I love you daddy," the statement to the Mirror ended.

Yesterday Natasha, Nathan and their mother Catherine McNeil travelled to the spot where Jonathan had been found.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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