'Homeless services are in turmoil' says charity after woman dies in doorway

Early morning commuters walked past a dead homeless woman on a Cork City street before her body was found.

Gardaí on Lower Oliver Plunkett St, Cork City, where a woman aged 40 was found dead. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Gardaí say the Irish woman, who was 40, was discovered dead at around 11am yesterday in a doorway on Lower Oliver Plunkett St.

It is believed she had died at some stage overnight or earlier that morning, as she slept in the doorway on the busy city-centre street.

Gardaí on patrol in the area discovered the woman and found her unresponsive.

A doctor pronounced the woman dead at the scene, and her body was removed for a full post-mortem examination, but her death is not being treated as suspicious.

The woman was known to be homeless and to have availed of homeless services in the city.

A spokesperson for Cork Simon, which runs an emergency shelter on nearby Anderson’s Quay, said the organisation’s thoughts are with the woman’s family and the people who worked to provide services to her.

The Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) group said it is the third death of a homeless person in the past week and it fears there could be further deaths as the weather gets colder.

“This death is another indictment on the lack of service provision being provided by the State,” said ICHH chief executive Anthony Flynn.

“Homeless services are in turmoil, with extra beds not coming online quickly enough. We have weather warnings throughout the country and rough sleeping is at peak levels.

“We require an immediate response or we will have more deaths on our streets. ICHH would like to offer our sincere condolences to the deceased lady’s family and friends,” said Mr Flynn.

Cork North Central TD Mick Barry described the death as “deeply shocking”.

“I am hearing news that the trade union movement is planning a major national demonstration to demand Government action on the housing and homelessness crisis in 2018. This death underlines the importance of moving forward with urgency on that initiative in the new year.”

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