herald

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Homeless man who lived in a toilet has died

A HOMELESS man who had been living in a public toilet has been found dead in the street.

The body of Josef Pavelka, whose plight received national attention after it emerged he was living in the toilet in Ennis, Co Clare, was found dead in a laneway.

His friend and homeless companion, Piotr Baram (35), mourned his friend's loss. He said: "I am very sad. I cried all night. I have lost my best friend."

Garda Insp Tom Kennedy expressed his sadness at the passing of 52-year- old Mr Pavelka, who came to Ireland six years ago to work in the construction industry.

 

Insp Kennedy knew Mr Pavelka from his regular appearances at Ennis District Court for being drunk in public.

He said: "It is very sad and I'm sure the people of Ennis will be very sad as Josef was very familiar to everyone. He was a quiet and inoffensive man."

The discovery of the Czech national's body at 11.30pm by a passer-by on Saturday night came only three days after Judge Patrick Durcan said at Ennis District Court that Mr Pavelka had attained 'celebrity status' in Ennis.

The plight of homeless alcoholics, Mr Pavelka and his Polish friend Mr Baram, received wide attention after Judge Durcan described the revelation that they were sleeping in public toilets as 'a scandal'.

Mr Baram was not with Mr Pavelka when he died. Insp Kennedy said one theory is that Mr Pavelka choked to death on food, as he used to rummage for discarded food in the laneway that lies adjacent to the local Supermacs fast food restaurant.

Insp Kennedy said: "People were more aware of Josef's plight and were much more friendly towards him giving him money but that only increased massively his resources for drinking and that was not good for him."

hnews@herald.ie

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