'All I want is a bit of companionship' - Homeless Limerick man describes how his friends died of overdoses

David South, 25, sleeping rough in a tent at the homeless camp, at a location on the outskirts of Limerick city. Picture: Press 22

A man has described how he is the last person sleeping in a homeless campsite, after two friends who slept in tents beside him died of drugs overdoses.

David South has slept in a one-man tent in a derelict shed in Limerick every night for the past five months.

Speaking at the filthy freezing squat, he pleaded for the government to help provide more accommodation for the homeless community.

“I’m so lonely, all I want is a bit of companionship. There were people with me here before but they’re gone now,” he added.

A metre away from Mr South’s sleeping quarters lies a tent where Louise ‘Bubu’ Casey previously slept.

The mother of two was found dead in the city centre from a suspected drugs overdose on November 8 last. A man who overdosed on heroin was found dead in his sleeping bag in another tent there last September.

Isolated, in the middle of this abandoned shell, Mr South, whose parents died by the time he was 20, said he was unsure how to get the help he needed to get his life back on track.

Mr South, who dropped out of college a few years ago, said: “I’m here five or six months. It’s a big old abandoned warehouse and it’s totally derelict; it’s a filthy place. It’s freezing cold and riddled with rats.”

Unable to cope with life after his parents’ deaths, he abandoned the family home in Fedamore, ending up on the streets of Limerick city addicted to drugs and begging to feed his habit.

“My parents died, I dropped out of college and I started smoking heroin. I’m drug-free since February but I’m stuck in a rut here, and I want to be doing something with my life.”

At one point there were eight tents in the camp.

“I’m the only one staying here. There used to be about 15 people, that came down to eight, and then four, and then three, and now me, I’m the last one. I’ll be lucky to last a few months. I get lonely. It’s terrifying coming down here at night because I don’t know who will be here,” he said.

Mr South said he did not want to stay in homeless hostels because of “problems with drugs and people being threatened”.

According to figures supplied by Limerick city and county council there were 57 children and 140 adults homeless in Limerick as of November 25.

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