THREE HOMELESS PEOPLE have died over the space of six weeks in Cork and Fianna Fail have described the situation as ‘scandalous’.
The deaths highlight the need for additional accommodation centres for the homeless in the city, claims councillor Fergal Dunnehy, who believes the situation has turned into something of a crisis for Cork.
Dunnehy says that the current facilities aren’t sufficient enough to help the growing numbers of homeless people in the city and claims problems with drug addiction are rife amongst those in the shelters, and that much more needs to be done to tackle it properly.
“It is scandalous that we have had three deaths in recent times on the streets of Cork. We need a more diverse range of facilities in Cork,” he said.
“We have one main facility in Anderson’s Quay. Within that facility you have 18-year-old girls right up to 70-year-old men. We have people in there with addictions and people without addiction.
“I am aware of people who have gone in with no addiction whatsoever and have come out of there after picking up addictions because they are surrounded by it.”
A 47-year-old Polish man was found dead near Cork’s Simon Community Shelter in the city centre last Saturday morning.
He had been sleeping rough in a doorway and was found covered by blankets.
Two other homeless men, both in their 30s, were found dead in Cork over the last six weeks, and had been using the same facilities in the city centre.
Cork Tanaiste Simon Coveney however insists that the government aren’t turning a blind eye to the problem and that homeslessness was one of their top priorities.
“I would say that anybody who think that homelessness and housing are not a priority for Government does not understand what we are trying to do,” he said.
“That does not mean that there are not tragedies happening which remind the Government every week of the urgency of this issue. This is why we have dramatically increased budgets in this area.
“We are continuing to work with local government to try to ensure the emergency solutions that are in place for people who are homeless are working.
“We will continue to work with local government to try to be more effective in this area.”