Man killed in Cork city tented village had keys to apartment but never used them

Tragic Timmy Hourihane had a long history of engagement with homeless agencies in recent years and was granted tenancy in a supported social housing unit three years ago.

Man killed in Cork city tented village had keys to apartment but never used them

Tragic Timmy Hourihane had a long history of engagement with homeless agencies in recent years and was granted tenancy in a supported social housing unit three years ago.

But the complexities of his addiction saw him lose the tenancy and slip back into homelessness.

The sad details emerged yesterday as the extensive garda probe into his violent death following a vicious assault on the Mardyke at the weekend continues.

In a statement, Cork City Council said Mr Hourihane had presented to the city’s homeless services on a number of occasions over several years and the Cork Simon Outreach team remained in contact with him.

Its workers regularly visit those sleeping rough, keeping track of the numbers and encouraging people to engage with and avail of the various services that are available.

The Irish Examiner has established that Mr Hourihane stayed at the St Vincent de Paul homeless shelter for men near Anglesea St in Cork City at various times throughout 2013 and 2014.

In April 2015, homeless agencies directed him towards and assisted him into an addiction treatment programme.

He remained in the treatment programme until June 2015 when he was discharged into the care of family and friends.

But tragically, he relapsed and began to engage again with the various homeless support services in Cork. He was thrown a lifeline in August 2016 when he was granted a permanent tenancy in a supported housing unit in the city centre.

Those granted such tenancies have access to a wide range of what homeless agencies call “wraparound supports” which are designed to keep them in housing and secure a long-term tenancy.

The services also include special training courses on independent living which can ultimately lead to a pathway out of homelessness.

Mr Hourihane was given the keys to the apartment but he never occupied it. As a result, he lost the tenancy and the place was offered to another candidate.

It’s understood Mr Hourihane spent some time afterwards in Dublin but returned to Cork and last presented to the city council’s homeless persons unit last December.

From January to April of this year, he was classed as a “sporadic user” of Cork Simon’s emergency shelter on Anderson’s Quay.

Friends of his said he spent the last few months living in a tent in various parts of the city, and had located to the Mardyke in recent weeks.

In a statement yesterday, Cork City Council extended its sympathy to his family and friends and urged anyone with information to contact gardaí.

“The Council Outreach and the Cork Simon Outreach team regularly monitor the welfare of a small number of people who are sleeping rough in the city centre and actively encourage them to engage with the city’s homeless services and to avail of the various supports that are available to people,” it said.

Sources working on the frontline of homelessness said this tragic case highlights the challenges facing those who are homeless and the complexities facing those charged with responding to it.

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