| 6.4°C Dublin

'Shameful' tragedy as homeless man dies on the street outside Dail

A homeless man was found dead just yards away from the gates of Dail Eireann today.

The body of the deceased man, aged in his 40s, was found on Molesworth Street in Dublin city centre this morning.

Investigations into the death are continuing but it is not believed to be suspicious.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke said it is "shameful" that a homeless person should die on our city streets.

"I told the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a recent meeting that there would be deaths this winter. I said it to him," Mr Burke told the Herald.

"It is shameful that someone should die on the streets facing our parliament."

Leinster House was open today but the Dail is not sitting until tomorrow. Civil servants and TD's offices were open for business today.

Gardai confirmed they are investigating the discovery of the body of the man.

action

Mr Burke, who volunteers with Dublin's Inner City Helping the Homeless (ICHH), said it is time for action and not words on the homeless crisis in the city.

"I hope it is a wake-up call to our political leaders about the homeless crisis in Dublin.

"My thoughts, my prayers and my sympathies go out to this man's family," said Mr Burke.

"What we need is action on homelessness, not spin and talk. Only action will work."

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

In total, €55.5m has been allocated to the national homeless budget for 2015, an increase of €10.5m on last year's figure.

Reacting to today's death, Anthony Flynn, director of ICHH, said Housing Minister Alan Kelly must open more homeless beds as a priority. On one night last month, there were 168 people sleeping rough in the city centre.

"We've been told that there was 80 beds opened under the cold winter initiative in the last three months and we have asked for a direct response from the homeless services as to where these beds are and we haven't had a reply.

"It is my belief that those beds are not there. They haven't been made available at the moment. We had seven people on Smock Alley in sleeping bags this morning," Mr Flynn told the Herald.

"On the cold face of it, there are nights when it is minus one out there. We have been lucky so far that we haven't been hit by the worst of the bad weather.

"We're walking the streets at night time and we feel it," Mr Flynn added.

"It is Christmas month and it is about time some type of empathy was shown by the Government and the beds are actually opened up.

"Rather than promising beds he needs to show face now and get the beds open and get people in off the streets.

"It is bad enough with the cold and the rain but if we get hit by snow over the next couple of weeks people are in real, real danger.

"We are in a situation where somebody has been found dead and it is down to the Government because the beds are not being made available for people to come in off the streets at night," Mr Flynn said.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy