Two men found dead in a Waterford hostel last night have been named locally as Paul Crotty and Mark Lyons - both in their mid-forties and from County Waterford.
St Vincent de Paul regional administrator, David O’Neill, expressed his condolences to the men’s families. “Homelessness is a tough one for all and in particular at Christmas time. Anyone could be on the brink of homelessness. It’s very tragic and sad news and our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and their family and friends,” he said.
One local man who has lived at the facility since August described the two men ‘’as fun-loving and life-long friends’’. He said ‘all the men at the hostel would be friendly and would all eat breakfast together. "I only met them yesterday morning and they were in great form," he said.
Autopsies are due take place on Sunday.
Gardaí are not currently treating these deaths as sinister but the autopsy results will determine the course of the investigation.
The two men were found dead in St Vincent de Paul's McGwire House Hostel in Waterford city on Thursday night.
A resident at the hostel described the discovery of the men's bodies as "very sad" and a "tragic day".
Speaking on, one resident of the hostel named Darryl, who was a friend of the deceased, said he was shocked at the news and had spoken to them both the day before the incident.
"Very sad. Tragic day [...] Yeah it's a bit of a shock. I've known them years. [...] We're all good friends. We all get on well. All eat breakfast together, share the same coffee room," he said.
Paramedics and gardaí were called to the hostel on Bath Street on Thursday at about 4.45pm.
When they arrived, they found the body of a man, aged in his 40s.
Another man, believed to be in his 40s, was found dead in a bed in the hostel shortly after.
Both bodies were removed from the scene and brought to University Hospital, Waterford, where post-mortem examinations will be conducted.
Inquiries into the last known movements of both men are under way.
A spokesperson for the McGwire House Hostel said that the situation was "very tragic and sad".
"Our thoughts are with the deceased, their family and friends," they said.
Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane also described the deaths as "a tragedy" and called for a full investigation.
While the number of people homeless and requiring emergency accommodation has dropped nearly 17% this year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Housing, more than 50 homeless people have died since January.
Catríona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners fears that more homeless people will die this month. She said:
“Covid has been the most harrowing time in many people’s lives.
“We have seen a lot of suicides. We are heartbroken by them and we are very worried that there will be a lot more.
“A lot of people are now dying of drug misuse as well. People are turning to drink and drugs to soften the blows.
“More needs to be done now before we have another death.
“Government must know of the hurt and the desperation out there and back up the services to help people who are in no fit state to help themselves."