herald

Wednesday 20 November 2019

'Another avoidable tragedy' - man who lived on streets dies

ICHH director Anthony Flynn
ICHH director Anthony Flynn

A homeless man has died in hospital after being found unconscious in Dublin city centre yesterday morning.

A homelessness charity described his passing after a bitterly cold night as "another avoidable tragedy".

Gardai are investigating the sudden death of the man, who was in his late 30s.

He was found in Foster Place, near Trinity College Dublin, at around 7am yesterday.

The alarm was raised by members of the public who found him. He was rushed by ambulance to St James's Hospital. However, he was pronounced dead an hour later.

Last night his death was being treated as not suspicious by the authorities.

"Gardai were alerted to the incident by passing pedestrians who observed the man unconscious at Foster Place," said a garda spokesperson.

A post-mortem will be conducted, which will determine the course of the garda investigation.

The dead man is reported to be a foreign national and is said to have been homeless in the capital for at least a year.

Freezing

Homelessness charity Inner City Helping Homeless said the death was "another avoidable tragedy".

In a statement it added: "Saturday night was a freezing cold night with ground frost across the city so to hear of another death on the streets of the country is another avoidable tragedy".

The charity's chief executive Anthony Flynn said: "My thoughts are with the man's family at this tragic time.

"This is yet another unacceptable loss of life within a broken service.

"The system that is homelessness is continuing to fail our most vulnerable in society."

"Enough is not being done to implement enough safe and secure accommodation for those who require it."

Mr Flynn called on the Government to implement the Cold Weather Initiative for those who are homeless and sleeping rough. Temperatures last night were expected to fall as low as minus 1C.

"We have a homelessness epidemic, with on average 160 people sleeping rough every night, resulting in deaths in our streets," Mr Flynn said.

"This can't become normal or acceptable.

"The minister must activate the Cold Weather Initiative immediately and ensure beds are available for all who want to access them."

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