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Belfast mayor and council party group leaders to hold ‘special’ meeting following growing number of sudden deaths in city

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Police at the scene of a sudden death in the Buoy Park area of Belfast City Centre on July 17, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police at the scene of a sudden death in the Buoy Park area of Belfast City Centre on July 17, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police at the scene of a sudden death in the Buoy Park area of Belfast City Centre on July 17, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The mayor of Belfast and council party group leaders are to hold a special meeting on Friday to discuss issues around the sudden deaths of numerous people in the city centre over recent months.

Mayor Tina Black said: “We had another two tragic deaths in the city centre over the weekend. My first thoughts are with the families of the two women who passed away and I extend my condolences to them.

“These are the latest in a series of deaths which have occurred in the city centre this year.

“I have written to party groups leaders on the council and the relevant statutory agencies who provide services in the city centre to come together to discuss what more can be done to make Belfast safer.

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“We have to ensure that appropriate mental health and addiction services are available to people who need them as well as shelter and accommodation,” continued the Sinn Fein councillor. 

“Local businesses are also reporting a rise in anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in the city centre. We need the relevant statutory bodies in justice, health and communities working along with the council and police to tackle these problems, help those in need and make our city centre a safer place for all.”

In just three days last week, two young women suddenly passed away close to St Anne’s Cathedral in the city. 

A PSNI forensic team was at the scene on Sunday morning in Academy Street where the individual, believed to be a young female in her 20s, became the 14th person to die on the streets of Belfast in recent months.

The previous sudden death of a young woman, believed to have been aged just 19, was reported on Friday afternoon and occurred in Writer’s Square, just yards from the scene of Sunday's death.

She was believed to be homeless and had travelled to Belfast from Bangor, Co Down in recent weeks. Various homeless groups said she was not known in the Belfast area.

Following Sunday’s death, People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll tweeted saying: “Tragedy has struck a family with the death of another homeless person in Belfast. My fullest sympathies go out to them.

"We need urgent action to prevent homelessness and appropriate intervention for those who need it. No functioning Executive is not an excuse for inaction.”

The Sunday Life recently revealed the harrowing extent of the growing drug and homeless crisis in Belfast, with Writer’s Square described as a place where addicts go to get their “latest fix”.

It also documented how many of the deaths of homeless individuals in Belfast are linked to addiction issues and drug use.

Belfast Homeless Service’s Liz Rocks, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph said she is “disheartened” by the number of recent deaths in Belfast, adding something needs to be done.

“It’s only the media which seems to take an interest and care,” she said.

"Other people don’t care because it’s not at their door.

"There has barely been anything said about these deaths by politicians.”

The PSNI said no details were available regarding the sudden death on Sunday.


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