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Rally held at Belfast City Hall after homeless man found dead in city street

Published 12/02/2016

Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Donegall Place in Belfast

A rally has been held at Belfast City Hall following the death of homeless man in the city centre's streets.

The rally, organised by People Before Profit's Gerry Carroll, called for the city to "redouble efforts to tackle the homeless crisis."

A Facebook post to announce the event said: "In 2016 no one should go without a roof over their head."

The man know as 'Jimmy', who was in his early 30s and from Belfast, was found by outreach workers in the Donegall Place area early on Sunday.

Paramedics and the police tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes, but their efforts were in vain.

The man, who is understood to have been married and had children, was well-known to several city outreach organisations, including Hope Outreach for the Homeless.

Volunteer Donna Connor said: "We all knew this man and are really heartbroken to hear the sad news.  He was one of our regular service users and we would talk to him most nights when we are giving out hot meals and drinks.

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Young mum LJ offering home and job to homeless person  

"He was a very lovable young man, and very affectionate and would always have a dance and a song with us when we were talking with him.

"He was a boxer in his younger days and he used to play sparr a bit with my husband Jim.  He was just a lovely, lovely man and we are sorry to lose him."

She said that her charity help to distribute hot meals and drinks, and sleeping bags, donated by a local sponsor to between 20 -27 homeless people in Belfast on a nightly basis.

"But the most valuable thing that we can give this is our time, they really like us to sit down and talk, make them a cup of tea and have one ourselves."

According to the charity, the dead man is the fourth homeless person to die on the streets of Belfast in just over a year. 

The latest person was a man who died by his own act in the Titanic train halt area  last December.

Facebook user Stella Dixon commented: "No matter how this soul died, the fact still remains, he died on the street.  This disgusts me and pains my heart this day and age... RIP young man. Your pain is behind you now."

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From Belfast Telegraph