herald

Sunday 20 October 2019

Church makes property available after man's death

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has made available a property to cater for up to 40 homeless people following the death of Johnny Corrie on a Dublin city doorstep.

While the growing homeless crisis has long been talked about at council and government level with pressure for action from charities and other agencies, it took the death of the 43-year-old father on Monday morning to spark a renewed effort to do something to bring actual change.

The lack of accommodation spaces and shelters has come under increased criticism, and yesterday Archbishop Martin said that following talks with staff, he was in a position to make a substantial Diocesan property available.

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese said the exact property and its location is not being revealed until further work is carried out on it.

But sources say there are also fears of objections from members of the public if the location, close to the north inner city, is revealed.

"Archbishop Martin has advised staff to make contact with the city's Homeless Executive in order to proceed as quickly as possible," the spokeswoman said.

"With appropriate support, it is hoped the Diocesan building can be made suitable before Christmas to provide shelter for between 30 and 40 homeless people."

Meanwhile, an association set up to combat homelessness has proposed a cost-effective way of being part of the solution to the problem. First Base aims to create compact homes for people by converting old shipping containers that can be moved from place to place as the need arises.

"The capital cost of each container unit is around €15,000 and can be self built with mentoring by voluteers, and is ultimatley temporary and moveable," said Martin Critten, who is pitching the model to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and as well as local authorities.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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