Belfast Telegraph

Catholic Church opening up property to rough sleepers after death of homeless man in Dublin

By Brian Hutton

The head of the Catholic Church in the Irish Republic is opening up church property to rough sleepers after a homeless man died across the street from the national parliament.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has ordered staff to offer accommodation for between 30 and 40 people amid a homelessness crisis in the capital.

The shelter will be in a diocesan building in the north inner city.

A spokeswoman for the church leader said: "Archbishop Martin said he is very deeply concerned about a deeply divided Dublin where on the one hand there is rejoicing at increased spending over the Christmas period and on the other hand where the number of those homeless and hungry is actually increasing."

Archbishop Martin has called for a public summit of all those involved in fighting homelessness in the aftermath of yesterday's death of Jonathan Corrie, 43, opposite the Dail.

He was one of several homeless men who sleep rough around the area and some are known to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other TDs as they pass on their way to the parliament.

Gardai are not treating the death as suspicious and are awaiting port-mortem examination results to determine if the cold weather or drug use was a factor.

Met Eireann said temperatures in Dublin plunged to as low as 1.4C (35F) last night.

Drug paraphernalia was discovered close to the man's body, which was found by a passer-by on his way to work.

Homelessness charities who work with those sleeping rough in the capital confirmed that they had been in contact with the man before his death.

Believed to be originally from Co Carlow, his last known address was a hostel in Dublin.

Official figures released just over a week ago show the number of people sleeping rough in Dublin has soared by a fifth over the past year.

At least 168 homeless people will be sleeping out over the coming weeks and months, it is suggested.

Last week, leading homelessness campaigner Sr Stanislaus Kennedy said the Government could stop families becoming homeless at the stroke of a pen to allow welfare payments to keep pace with rocketing rents.

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