There was little activity on Sheares Street on a quiet Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, but the few who did stroll down the city centre avenue did a double take when they saw gardaí posted outside a sealed-off derelict building.
It had been over 24 hours since the body of 22-year-old Amy McCarthy had been found in the former shop premises, yet the blue and white tape and parked squad car remained.
They had since been joined by a number of floral tributes laid on the footpath outside the grey, three-storey building opposite the popular Mardyke complex of bars. A black bin liner patched a hole in the ground- level window.
A plaque on the wall notes that the building stood on an area that was reclaimed marshland. Those who did stop to talk said it is a part of the city long neglected.
Two local women, who did not wish to be named, observed the scene from across the street as they were out for a walk in the May sunshine. They said they were not aware that the derelict building was being used.
They both said there are a number of run-down buildings in the area.
“I know of some places in the area where there are squatters, but that was one place where I didn’t realise there was squatting, if there were squatters in there,” one said.
“It’s a shame there are so many buildings around left in disrepair like that, obviously it’s an attraction for people to get in and get shelter.
“There are a few around, more up here as you’re heading onto Dyke Parade and not Millerd St, but the one running parallel to it. There are squatters in there. There’s a few around,” she said.
Aside from sheltering those in need of a roof over their heads, the local women said they have afforded a place for those with addictions to hide from prying eyes.
“There’s definitely a problem with drugs, absolutely. We’ve noticed it more over the past three years. It’s been getting worse,” one said.
Back at the building where Ms McCarthy died, a bunch of flowers bore a note to the mother-of-one.
“Never realised such a sad thing could happen,” it read.
“Fly high angel.”
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