Homeless man (51) found dead in Cork city

Incident highlights risks people face on streets on daily basis, says campaigner

The death of a 51-year-old homeless man in Cork city during bad weather on Tuesday night has highlighted the risks those living on the streets face on a daily basis, according to a campaigner for the homeless in the city.

Caitríona Twomey, who runs Cork Penny Dinners which provides meals for people living on the streets, said the death of Polish national Roman Burzynski was yet another terrible tragedy which highlighted the urgent need to end homelessness.

Mr Burzynski was found unresponsive on Carey’s Lane, just off Patrick Street in Cork city centre at about 7pm on Tuesday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was removed to Cork University Hospital for a postmortem.

Gardaí said on Wednesday the postmortem confirmed foul play was not a factor in Mr Burzynski’s death. He had been living at the St Vincent’s Hostel on Anglesea Terrace near Cork City Hall and used to frequent Cork Penny Dinners.


Ms Twomey said: “We knew Roman, he was very private and kept to himself – he wouldn’t be a fellow that would stand out, in any shape or form – there was no harm in him and he hadn’t been coming to us long but he was always looking for work.

“I think Roman’s case highlights what’s happening to people who are homeless and the fact that they are at the mercy of so many things including the elements but we just can’t leave his death go unnoticed,” said Ms Twomey.

“There’s some suggestion he may have had a heart attack but in one sense it doesn’t matter what he died from – isn’t it just so sad that he died on the street, lonely, out in all weathers, with wind and rain, pelting down on him – homeless people have no choice because they are on the streets.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times