33 homeless died in Dublin and Cork in 2012

Thirty-three people known to be homeless died last year in Dublin and Cork.

As the continuing cold snap turned attention to the difficulties faced by those who are homeless or faced with fuel poverty, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive revealed that 30 of its clients died last year.

The DRHE said it had received notification from service providers of the deaths of 30 individuals who were verified as homeless and had been accessing homeless accommodation at the time of their death. Thirteen of those who died were in hospital care when they passed away.

Thirteen other service users died in homeless accommodation, while four of those who died were residing in homeless accommodation but died while out of their accommodation, for example, while visiting family or friends.

Of those who died in the capital last year, 23 were men, aged from 31 to 77 years.

A DRHE spokesperson said: “The Dublin Homeless Sector operates a policy of reporting where a homeless persons dies. The central aim of this policy in these sensitive circumstances is to ensure good communication between services, next of kin and the various agencies that may be involved.

Last week in Dublin a long-term homeless man, believed to be in his 80s and called Ned Delahunty, was laid to rest weeks after he died after authorities attempted to trace his relatives, without success.

Figures from the most recent head count of people sleeping rough in Dublin in December showed 87 people typically on the streets, the same figure as for the previous winter count.

Cork Simon said three of its clients in its emergency shelter died last year in cases where the effects of homelessness were a factor. The youngest person to die was 26 and the oldest was just 28.

Cork Simon also operates high support houses which tend to cater for an older age group.

Last December a report by Cork Simon, in partnership with St Vincent de Paul, Focus Ireland and Threshold, said that, during the first 11 months of 2012, a total of 157 people were recorded as sleeping rough — around a four-fold increase.

The report showed that an average of two people per night were sleeping rough last March, but this rose to an average of 10 people per night last October.

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