herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Homeless amputee's body found at golf club

THE body of a homeless 24-year-old double leg amputee has been recovered from the grounds of a golf club in Ennis.

The death of James Sherlock has sparked a call by his solicitor, Tara Godfrey, for policies relating to addicts accessing services to be urgently reviewed.

Mr Sherlock was on bail awaiting sentence before Ennis Circuit Court concerning setting fire to the Lakes Nursing Home in Killaloe in 2010.

A 95-year old woman died from natural causes on the night the home was evacuated

Earlier this year, Judge Gerald Keyes said that the State must find accommodation for Mr Sherlock, who lost both his legs due to complications from his heroin addiction.

However, gardai confirmed yesterday that Mr Sherlock had been squatting near the eighth green at Ennis Golf Club for a number of nights before his body was discovered by a family member on Thursday.

It is believed he may have died from a drug overdose.

HEARINGS

Mr Sherlock's solicitor, Ms Godfrey, was involved in attempts to secure accommodation for her client at various court hearings this year.

The last time Mr Sherlock's case was before the court, on July 11, the court was told that he was on the list "at last" for accommodation in Ennis.

Mr Sherlock addressed the court on that date, claiming that no progress was being made on getting accommodation, saying: "I'm sick of this."

Ms Godfrey said yesterday that Mr Sherlock's personal circumstances when he died "show how difficult it is for people with addiction problems to access accommodation".

"The services demand that addicts be clean, but how can they get clean if they are denied access to those services?

"This issue needs to be addressed urgently."

At a court sitting in April, senior probation officer Eoin Ryan said the State could not find a home for Mr Sherlock as insurance companies will not insure any care homes or hostels that would provide a home for him due to the alleged arson.

hnews@herald.ie

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