'Winter crisis' | 

Fourth homeless person found dead in the capital in the space of a week

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

Eoin Murphy

Gardai have launched an investigation after a homeless man was found dead last night in emergency accommodation.

The man's tragic death brings the total number of homeless people who have passed away in Dublin this week to four.

Gardai told the Sunday World they were called to investigate the sudden death of a man in his forties at a residential property in the city centre last night at approximately 10.30 pm.

According to Independent Councillor Anthony Flynn, the man was homeless, and had been staying in an emergency accommodation unit.

Gardai said his body was removed from the premises and has been taken away for postmortem. Foul play is not suspected.

His death comes just days after the tragic death of homeless woman Janet Jackson.

Janet's body was discovered by gardai in the early hours of Thursday morning, in a tent near Lynch's Lane in Clondalkin, south Dublin.

It is believed that the young mum of four, who was in her early thirties, was dead for a number of days before her remains were discovered.

And Cllr Flynn, who is the CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), said that the spikes in deaths may signal the beginning of an "epidemic" of homeless deaths.

“Last night, we still had 111 people sleeping rough on the streets,” he told the Sunday World.

“And that is just Dublin. We have reports from our partners in Galway, Cork and Kildare in terms of increased numbers of people sleeping rough on the streets.

“The immediate thing for me is to ensure we have access for beds. The truth is that there isn’t a bed for everyone that wants one.

“Janet tragically died in a tent but I have serious concerns for winter.

“Her death has proved we are not doing enough and the level of people dying is only on the increase.

“Janet's death could be the start of the worst winter we have ever seen.”

Anthony said that a lack of access to crucial services is what is driving the numbers of homeless deaths, like Janet's, up this year.

“It is tragic and the gardai have cleared up that there was no suspicious activity surrounding her death,” he said.

“It is gut-wrenching to have to say that someone could be in a tent and not found for up to three days.

“Although there are massive amounts of money being paid for outreach for teams in Dublin, this girl obviously wasn't being checked on."

Janet’s body has not yet been released but it is hoped that the family will have a small funeral next week.

And Anthony hopes that her tragic passing will act as a wake-up call for the Government and council to do more for those at-risk people, sleeping rough through lockdown.

"In July we had 39 deaths and that had surpassed the figures for the two years previous, so for me it is so worrying, and I believe we have passed 50 deaths now.

“Many of the deaths in July were due to suicide or overdose and that is a serious situation in Dublin.

“People can’t access the supports for mental health and for substance misuse.

“The death of Janet was absolutely tragic but it is sign of the systemic failure of how we are not supporting people.”

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