Belfast Telegraph

Homeless man dies yards from Dail Eireann: 'Jonathan Corrie was polite, no trouble'

A toothbrush, water and a needle: The death of Jonathan Corrie, a heroin addict who died in a Dublin city-centre doorway, highlights the growing problem of homelessness

By Sam Griffin and Brian Byrne

Nice, polite, gentle and no trouble - that was how homeless man Jonathan Corrie (43), from Kilkenny, was recalled yesterday by those who offered him care and comfort, as he battled his own demons.

"He had been coming into us for about five years. He would come in once or twice a week. He was always very polite," recalled Alice Leahy from the charity Trust.


"He might have a clean-up and a cup of tea and, if he needed, his feet treated. He was very quiet, nice, polite, gentle and never caused any problems when he was with us."


Alice added: " He kept to himself. We were all very sad to hear of his passing."


Tragically, it has also emerged that Mr Corrie, who was known as Johnny to his friends, was offered a bed in a homeless shelter just last week but declined the offer.


Reacting to the death, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin called for a public debate on homelessness and revealed a diocesan property would be made available to house up to 30 people before Christmas.


Lord Mayor Christy Burke has set up an emergency meeting on the issue for Friday while the government will hold a special forum tomorrow.


Last night's Oireachtas Christmas Tree light ceremony was postponed as a mark of respect to Jonathan.


Instead a vigil attended by more than 200 people was held and bouquets placed at the scene where Mr Corrie passed away.


Meanwhile, the Irish government is to consider lifting the ban on the provision of bed sits in the private sector in an effort to tackle the homeless crisis.


Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton today said that such a move would be examined as part of plans to increase housing supply.

Source: Irish Independent

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