'Kind' homeless lady died in same doorway as her aunt

The 40-year-old woman found dead in a doorway on a Cork city centre street has been remembered as a “kind, nurturing lady”, who died in the same spot where her aunt passed away seven years ago, writes Joe Leogue

Kathleen O’Sullivan was discovered dead at around 11am on Wednesday in a doorway on Lower Oliver Plunkett Street.

Ms O’Sullivan was homeless and known to services in the city, including the volunteer-run Helping Cork’s Homeless Group.

“She was very well known to Cork Simon and to us as well,” Christina Chalmers of Helping Cork’s Homeless said.

“She was very nurturing, she never took more than she needed from us and often contacted us about someone else in need.

“If there was someone new on the scene she would bring them to us and introduce them.

“Her aunt died in the same doorway seven years ago on Tuesday, it’s harrowing,” Ms Chalmers noted.

She said that she is concerned that Ms O’Sullivan will become ‘another statistic’ as more homeless people die on Irish streets:

“My fear is that this will become a common thing and we won’t bat an eyelid. Kathleen deserves more than that.

“She once shared a room with a girl with mental health issues and suicidal tendencies, and contacted us to help her.

“She was a kind, caring, soft-spoken lady. I don’t want her to become just another statistic. She had her demons, as do we all, but she was a lovely lady.”

A full post-mortem was due to be carried out yesterday, and while the results are unknown, gardaí are not treating Ms O’Sullivan’s death as suspicious.

Ms O’Sullivan is predeceased by her son, Anthony, and survived by her son Edmund and four siblings.

She is the second homeless woman to die in Cork City in the past three months.

Jennifer Dennehy, 30, from Blackrock in Cork, was found unresponsive by her partner in a tent in Gillabbey Park near University College Cork last September.

Ms O’Sullivan will lie in repose at the Mayfield Funeral Home for prayers at 5.30pm this evening.

Her funeral will take place tomorrow at 10am in St Brendan’s Church in The Glen, followed by burial in St Michael’s Cemetery, Blackrock.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.


KEYWORDS: homelessness, cork

 

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