Update: Two rough sleepers died last night because Govt 'had no plan for homeless during Ophelia' - charity

Update 3.50pm: The homelessness charity, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), has said that the deaths of two homeless people in Ireland overnight could have been avoided.

The ICHH say they have been asking for an extra 200 winter beds to be released into the system over the last month to prevent deaths on Ireland's streets.

They said: "Last weekend the Government's detailed emergency plan for Storm Ophelia included everything from cattle to garden furniture without one mention of those human beings sleeping rough around the country.

"An emergency plan was put in place between ICHH, Brother Kevin at Capichun day centre and Cllr Christy Burke and volunteers worked throughout the night to get people off the streets and into a safe environment.

"While the government continue to pat themselves on the back for the plan that was put in place for the homeless the facts are that they didn't have anything in place. The voluntary sector had to step in to keep people safe during the storm."

They said they have this week asked the Government about plans for the homeless when Storm Brian hits this weekend, but they have had no reply.

They said" This is another tragic death on the streets that could have been avoided. We are at a state of National emergency regarding homelessness and housing and are calling on the Taoiseach to call an immediate emergency sitting of the dail.

"How many more people need to die on our streets this year?"

ICHH CEO, Anthony Flynn, said the deaths were down to a failures of the Government's plans.

He said: "This is a direct result of systemic failures which were no extra cold winter initiative beds have been put into the system. Over 300 extra beds were found on a one-night basis through the storm and everyone who accessed them was put out back onto the streets the following night.

"Our teams engaged with over 160 people last night who were rough sleeping. Responsibility must fall on the door of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive as it cannot be socially acceptable for human beings to be an afterthought when they sleep on the streets.

"We have warned over and over again about our fears that we would see more deaths without extra beds being available. If we could put a plan in place with Brother Kevin and Christy Burke on Sunday night last why can't the people who are paid to do the job?"

2.24pm: Update: Two men sleeping rough died in Drogheda and Dublin last night

Two men who were sleeping rough are reported to have died last night.

A 23-year-old man is reported locally by LMFM to have been found unconscious on Mill Lane in Drogheda at 9.45pm.

Gardaí from Drogheda were called to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital yesterday evening to take reports of the sudden death of the man.

"A file will be prepared in accordance with the Coroners Act," a garda spokesperson said.

Another man was found dead in Dublin's inner city last night.

Earlier: Man found dead in Dublin’s inner city last night.

The man, reported to be a rough sleeper, was discovered unresponsive at around 2am in Adair Lane in Dublin’s Temple Bar district.

He has not yet been identified. A file is being prepared for the Coroner.

Gardaí said that they are not treating the death as suspicious at the moment.

Pic: Google Maps

Local Councillor Christy Burke said that the man had been dead for some time.

“The person who found him had been with the man at 11 o’clock - the person may have been feeding the man, I’m not too sure – but the man appeared to be asleep,” he said.

“The guy came back then at 2 o’clock and he seemed to be in the same position.

“The guy tried to get a pulse, there was none, he got an ambulance, and he was pronounced dead and had been dead for some hours, which meant he had been dead from 11 o’clock.”

Sam McGuinness from Dublin Simon Community said: “On behalf of Dublin Simon Community I would like to offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the gentleman who was found in Temple Bar this morning.

“While we have no further information on the circumstances of the man’s death at this moment, however we do know that people who are homeless and sleeping on our streets are very vulnerable; particularly as we move into the colder weather and harsher conditions.

“As the crisis has continued to escalate rapidly, our soup run and rough sleeper team, who are out 365 nights of the year, see first hand the difficulties that people on our streets are faced with. People are tired, they are undernourished, their medication may not be used and they are open to other exposures like alcohol or drugs.

“We are seeing great efforts by the Dublin Simon Community, the Local Authorities and other Housing Bodies, to deliver additional emergency beds as the demand increases. However, the ever rising flow into homelessness means that there is a real challenge to keep up with the demand for beds.

“As we face into the winter ahead, we are desperately worried about the fate of the people who are sleeping on our streets and deeply hope that another person does not perish in these very tragic and sad circumstances.”

This man is believed to be the sixth homeless person to die in the last two months.

In September a 26-year-old man was found dead in emergency accommodation in Dublin.

His death came days after a 27-year-old mother-of-two died in the Kildare hotel she had been housed in.

A former chef in his 50s died in hospital after being found unconscious on Suffolk street in the city centre

A man in his 40s was found dead in Bray. He had been sleeping in a tent on the Boghall Road

A woman in her 30s, been sleeping in a tent in the city, was found dead in Cork also last month.


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