Locals plan tribute to late homeless busker

A homeless man has died in Tullamore, and locals in the Co Offaly town are planning to play tribute to him at an event tonight.

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Conor O’Hagan, 25, had been living in the town for around five months and regularly busked with his guitar on its streets.

Ken Smollen, leader of the Irish Democratic Party who is also involved in a local Food Appeal, wrote on his Facebook page that Mr O’Hagan had been hospitalised recently “due to the effects of sleeping outdoors”.

He later told local media that he had spoken with Mr O’Hagan once, to give him a sleeping bag and some food.

Local sources told the Irish Examiner that Mr O’Hagan had been homeless and that this included sleeping rough. It is also understood that he had slept in the station in the town on a few occasions.

Efforts were also made to try to access services for him. The cause of his death is not known.

Yesterday, local people who had got to know Mr O’Hagan said they would stage a commemorative gig in the town.

One local, writing on Facebook, stated: “As you may know, Conor who has called Tullamore his home for the past few months, has sadly passed away.

“As a busker, he was well known playing his guitar beside Boots. Please join us this Wednesday at O’Connor Square in a farewell tribute to him.”

A number of local musicians are involved in the initiative. It’s understood some of those involved were also performing in memory of Mr O’Hagan at a bar in the town last night.

One local said yesterday that the 25-year-old was “a gentle soul” and a “free spirit” who also had a heart condition. It is understood he had been in a serious condition in Tullamore General Hospital recently and that he had been supported during his illness by his father.

It is understood that Mr O’Hagan had attended Clonakilty Community College in Co Cork. However, it is believed much of his family now live in Manchester in England and that he also has relatives living in the North.

Some of his family were due in Tullamore last night to attend the weekly ‘Acoustic Tuesdays’ event in Joe Lee’s pub, at which he had previously performed.

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