Postmortems due on two men found dead at hostel in Waterford city

Deaths further evidence Government has ‘failed to get grip’ on homeless deaths, says charity

Garda sources said they are not treating the deaths as suspicious. Photograph: Eric Luke

Garda sources said they are not treating the deaths as suspicious. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Postmortem examinations are due to take place on the bodies of two men found at a men’s hostel in Waterford city on Thursday evening.

One man was discovered dead after emergency services were called to McGwire House on Bath Street at about 4.45pm. A second man was then discovered deceased in a bed at the hostel.

Garda sources said they are not treating the deaths as suspicious. The results of the postmortems, which are due to take place on Sunday, will determine the course of their investigations. Inquests will follow in the new year.

The men have been named locally as Paul Crotty and Mark Lyons from Dungarvan. Both are aged in their 40s and are understood to have been using the hostel for some time. Mr Crotty had been living in Dungarvan previously and is the father of two children.

A spokesman for McGwire House, which is run by St Vincent de Paul and caters for up to 30 men, said it was a “very tragic and sad situation” and offered their sympathy to the men’s families.

Shocked

Regional administrator for St Vincent de Paul, David O’Neill, said the deaths have stunned staff and residents at McGwire House. “It’s very sad. The men eat together there, they watch telly together, they play games of pool together. It’s a close-knit place. They’re shocked by it and so are our staff.”

Outreach group Inner City Helping the Homeless said the two deaths were further evidence that the Government has “failed to get a grip” on homeless deaths and needs to release national figures.

Mr O’Neill added: “There have been a lot of homeless deaths this year, and some make the news and some don’t. The hostel isn’t necessarily the solution long term, and the long-term situation is for long-term housing. Staff at the hostel try to reintegrate the homeless men back into stable units and housing.”

A joint initiative by the local authority and homeless services has resulted in 25 tenancies through a programme where they are “rapidly rehoused”, which moves homeless people immediately from the streets or shelters into their own accommodation while providing them with a high level of support. It aims to have 30 tenancies in place by next June.