Wexford People

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Concern for man sleeping in tent as cold snap hits


The tent in the laneway to the car park at the rear of McCauleys

The tent in the laneway to the car park at the rear of McCauleys

The tent in the laneway to the car park at the rear of McCauleys

As temperatures plummeted over the weekend, major concerns were expressed for the welfare of a man living in a tent in the lane-way beside McCauleys and opposite Dunnes Stores in Redmond Square.

With the lane-way, which provides access to the car park, providing some shelter from the elements, sleeping bags had been noted there in recent times, however, the addition of a tent drew some major concerns from members of the public as they worried that someone could freeze to death.

Sinn Féin councillor Tom Forde attended the scene on Saturday night to speak with the man and said he was shocked by what he found.

'I won't get into the personal details of it, but it was a young man originally from North Wexford,' he said. 'When we went down to him, there was about twenty of those little night-light candles lighting inside the tent and he had his hands over them trying to keep some way warm.'

'It's a very worrying situation. You'd worry it could be a fire hazard if he fell asleep or something like that.'

Cllr Forde said that while he tried to offer the man some food or a cup of coffee, he wouldn't accept them, although eventually he did ask for help finding a room for the night to escape from the cold.

'I got straight onto the gardaí and they said that the man had refused a room from them before,' he said. 'They did say that they'd send a car down though. I think part of it may be an issue the man has with the gardaí. I rang Ozanam House to see if they could provide a room for him, but they said that it would have to go through the gardaí.'

'He spent Saturday night down there as far as I know,' Cllr Forde said. 'It's hard to know what you can do in a situation like that. I will be bringing it up at our district meeting, however, to make sure that council teams are constantly engaging with people like this and trying to persuade them to take some form of support.'

Cllr Forde said that he was aware of another case of a man who had been sleeping in a tent near Westgate, which he alleges was taken away by the council.

'You would have to be worried about these situations,' he said. 'It's only a matter of time before we find someone dead on our streets.'

Wexford People