The death of a homeless man just metres from a protest on the housing crisis has been described as ‘sickening”’ by charities.
The man, in his 30s, was found in the entrance to Starbucks on Westmoreland St yesterday morning as demonstrators walked back from a ‘sleep out’ for the homeless outside the Dáil.
One of the first to arrive on the scene, Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless, said the man was “robbed of his dignity”.
“He was covered with a blue hospital blanket and people walked by the body like it was normal.
“I was saddened at the fact that someone was allowed to lay there without any dignity. We managed to get a tent put around him but that man deserved privacy and dignity, all he got was a blanket over his face.”
The man, who was known to homeless charities as a rough sleeper, was found at 7:20am. Drug paraphernalia was found near the body .
Mr Flynn, with former lord mayor Christy Burke, laid flowers outside the cafe and urged the Government to declare a housing crisis.
“The normality of people passing by that body this morning was absolutely sickening. That people were walking by that body as if it was something normal on the ground. Something that everyone had seen before, as if it was something acceptable. Tourists were taking photographs as they went by. This is not normal, the Government need to call this what it is, a crisis,” he said.
The man’s death comes just two weeks after the body of another homeless man, Alan Murphy, who was also in his 30s, was discovered on Dawson lane. Gardaí did not treat his death as suspicious.
The number of people accessing homeless services in the capital continues to rise, with the number of homeless families skyrocketing by 76% since January. Charities are calling on the Government to declare a housing crisis in order to gain access to additional EU funding.
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