Housing Minister 'demands full report' as sleeping homeless man is injured during removal of tent

Housing Minister 'demands full report' as sleeping homeless man is injured during removal of tent
Members of the Gardaí at the scene along the Grand Canal in Dublin today. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Update: The Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has demanded a report into the attempted removal of a tent in which a homeless man was sleeping.

The man was injured yesterday afternoon on the Grand Canal at Wilton Terrace when the tent was removed using an industrial vehicle.

In a tweet, Minister Murphy said he was "saddened" by the news.

He said: "I was saddened to hear of the incident by the canal yesterday. My thoughts are with this poor man as he recovers in hospital.

"I’ve demanded a full report in to the incident which is under Garda investigation. My campaign poster which was located at the scene has been removed."

However, Focus Ireland believes there is an agenda to make homelessness less visible in our cities.

Head of Advocacy at Focus Ireland, Mike Allen, says alternatives are not in place for many people.

Mr Allen said: "The local authority and Irish Waterways have been trying to deal with the tent issue both as a safety issue, which is bitterly ironic in this circumstance, but also, and I think this needs to be said, as a way of making the problem less visible in the city."

Earlier: Council react as homeless man injured when tent removed while he was asleep inside

Dublin City Council have said that the homeless man left seriously injured after he was injured in an attempt to move a tent he was sleeping in, was in a "precarious and dangerous location".

The man was injured yesterday afternoon on the Grand Canal at Wilton Terrace when the tent was removed using an industrial vehicle.

"An individual was injured during the process and was taken to hospital," a statement from Dublin City Council confirmed.

"The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive is currently liaising with the hospital and every support is being provided."

The statement added the Council are engaging with the man and that accommodation will be made available to the man

"Every action that is taken by state services is taken in the interest of health and safety of those individuals experiencing homelessness."

Meanwhile, the CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless, Anthony Flynn, is calling for a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Mr Flynn told RTÉ Radio’s Today with Séan O’Rourke that this was not the first time that Waterways Ireland had tried to move people sleeping in tents to conduct works on a canal.

There has been an increase in people sleeping in tents because of safety fears, he explained. Waterways Ireland had recently served eviction notices to the people sleeping in tents on the banks of the Grand Canal.

This is a crisis of epidemic proportions. Procedures should be put in place before tents are lifted.

Mr Flynn said he was not aware if the person operating the utility vehicle had checked the tent to see if it was occupied before it was lifted.

“This was a breakdown in communications, there was a lack of consultation.”

Authorities had acknowledged recently that there was a shortage of 300 beds in the system for the city, he said. “There is no where to send these individuals. We haven’t the beds to put them into.”

Mr Flynn called for a full investigation. “Somebody’s life was put in danger when that lift was executed. The key stakeholders need to manage the situation.”

If activities like this are to take place then there should be greater cooperation, he urged.

'Serious questions need to be asked' as homeless man found in tent in Dublin in critical condition

A homeless man is in a serious condition in hospital after he was injured in an attempt to move a tent he was sleeping in Dublin.

It happened yesterday afternoon on the Grand Canal at Wilton Terrace when the tent was removed using an industrial vehicle.

Gardaí at Pearse Street are investigating.

It is understood the man was living rough in the area for a number of months.

"Serious questions need to be asked of the DRHE (Dublin Region Homeless Executive) senior management on bed availability and the level of service,” said Anthony Flynn, CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless.

This story has been updated at 9.20am

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