A HOMELESS man who died on the streets of Cork city gave a heartbreaking interview to a local radio station only last month warning of how people like him were in danger of being forgotten during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gary Dineen, 35, was found at Merchant’s Quay Car Park just after 11:30am this past Wednesday, August 12. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
While Gardai are awaiting the results of a post mortem from Cork University Hospital, the Irish Mirror uncovered an interview Dineen conducted with 96FM just a month prior to his passing.
In the interview, Dineen describes how he ended up homeless after a landlord decided to sell his house.
“I have been homeless a few times over the years but I have always got back on my feet and got a place again. I am homeless about two and a half years now.”
While he acknowledged the help he received from several local charities, the father-of-two admitted it was a strange feeling to be left sleeping rough during the pandemic, while buildings sat empty all around him.
“The whole place was empty and it was full of homeless people throughout the place. Everything was closed. There was empty hotels right behind me. Empty hostels everywhere. There are people out on the streets for the whole virus.”
Dineen paid tribute to his sister, describing her as “godsend” and like a mother who “has been there for me for everything.”
The 35-year-old lost his real mother when he was just five years old.
Though he spoke of his hope of one day receiving accommodation, he admitted he was struggling with life on the streets.
“I don’t have the heart or the strength for it (being homeless) anymore,” he said.
Dineen also revealed how the death of a former partner had left him broken.
“It was unconditional love. I loved her and she loved me. When the landlord was selling the house she went to stay with people and I came to Cork as homeless,” he explained.
“That broke our relationship then. We were talking about getting back together. She wasn’t in the best place.”
"I feel like with the homeless that nobody cares about anyone,” he added.
“There was another (homeless) fella pulled out of the river (recently) who I knew very well. I knew him 13 years.
“The amount of stuff that goes on around the place makes you worse and then you are battling your own demons. It is hard.”