Archbishop’s move to ease homeless crisis

Campaigner says homeless deaths regularly ignored

Mags Gargan and Louise McCarthy

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has offered "substantial" diocesan property to ease the homessless crisis in the capital, following the death of Jonathan Corrie who was sleeping rough just meters from Leinster House. But Bro. Kevin Crowley, who has spent decades working with homeless people, said the death was only the tip of the iceberg.

Bro. Kevin, who runs the Capuchin Day Centre, said the death of Mr Corrie was being highlighted because he had died in the shadow of Dáil Éireann. “People are regularly dying on the streets of Dublin, especially around Christmas.

“The deaths are not heard about because the people are homeless,” he said. Bro. Kevin estimated that around ten homeless people died on the streets of Dublin every year.

Archbishop Martin announced on Tuesday that he was making a “substantial diocesan property” in Dublin city centre available for emergency homeless accommodation.

The archbishop hopes that the building can be made suitable before Christmas to provide shelter for between 30 and 40 homeless people.

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, president of homeless charity Focus Ireland, described the homelessness crisis as “worse now than we have ever seen”.


She described Mr Corrie’s death as “appalling” and said it “highlights the failure of the State to care for people who are out on the streets like this.

“It is a very complex problem, because people are on the streets for different reasons. But they become homeless because somebody didn’t prevent them from reaching this stage,” Sr Stan said.

Bro. Kevin said: “The main cause of people dying on the streets is insufficient accommodation. They turn to drink and drugs.

“I hope something is done, as people have to be treated with respect. I am delighted that the archbishop will provide accommodation. It is absolutely fantastic.”