Belfast Telegraph

Belfast vigil held for homeless woman Catherine Kenny who died on the streets of Northern Ireland capital

A vigil has been held in memory of homeless woman Catherine Kenny who died on Belfast's streets.

Dozens of heartfelt messages and floral tributes have been left at the spot where Ms Kenny (32) from Co Down died.

Homeless teenager Maria Brady (18) described Ms Kenny as being like a mother to her during the vigil held by friends and family.

Earlier hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their respects to the 32-year-old.

She is the fifth homeless person to die on Belfast's streets this year.

Large crowds gathered at St Patrick's Church in Downpatrick.

Her sister Lee-Maria Kenny Hughes previously told the BBC Stephen Nolan show of her devastation at her sister's death saying she knew they loved her but "it wasn't enough".

In an emotional interview she told how they had tried on many occasions to help her but that addiction to drugs and alcohol had "gripped her".

Lee-Maria's husband Darren said his sister-in-law went to a "dark place".

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"There was no getting through to her. No matter what we offered her, suggested or encouragement we gave her,no matter how many times we told her we loved her, and she knew we loved her but it was never enough.

"She always at every opportunity we seen her,  she always said see you later, and she just turned and walked to the life she felt that she had to live."

Catherine's family have said they don't want her death to be in vain and that in order to prevent more happening, drugs need to be eradicated from society.

They hoped speaking out will save a life.

"We don't want Catherine's death to be in vain. She would be the first one to try and save someone's life. If she had managed to find her way back from this, of that i have no doubt she would have tried to save someone else's."

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