Homeless woman in serious condition following Cork assault

Woman (37) found unconscious with serious head wound suffered bleed to brain

Gardaí have received reports of the woman being involved in an altercation with a male on Railway Street before the assault. File photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Gardaí have received reports of the woman being involved in an altercation with a male on Railway Street before the assault. File photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

 

A 37-year old-homeless woman is in a serious condition in hospital after being found unconscious on a street in Cork city following an assault.

Gardaí were alerted at about 9.30pm on Monday night when they received a call from several members of the public that there was a woman unconscious on Railway Street between Kent Railway Station and Horgan’s Quay.

The emergency services were alerted and the woman, who had a serious wound to her head, was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where tests scans showed she had suffered a bleed to the brain.

The woman remained in a critical condition in a coma overnight and although she remained in a coma Tuesday morning, doctors believe her condition has improved slightly and she was today described as serious but stable.

It is understood that the woman, who is originally from Knocknaheeny on Cork’s northside and has family living in the Douglas area on the city’s southside, had been living rough on the streets in recent times.

Gardaí cordoned off the scene where the woman was found and it remained protected overnight before garda technical experts carried out a forensic examination of the area early this morning.

Detectives began harvesting CCTV footage from the area and have begun examining footage of Railway Street as well Kent Railway Station and Alfred Street as well as from Anderson’s Quay near the Cork Simon centre.

Gardaí have received reports of the woman being involved in an altercation with a male on Railway Street a short time earlier and while they stopped and spoke to a man in his 30s on Railway Street, he was not arrested.

Gardaí have appealed to anyone who was on Railway Street or the surrounding areas of Kent Railway Station, Horgan’s Quay or Alfred Street between 8pm and 10 pm on Monday night to contact them.

They are particularly anxious to speak to any motorists who were in the area during the relevant times and may have dash cam footage to contact them at Mayfield Garda Station on 021-4558510.

Assaults on homeless people

The assault on the woman is but the latest violent incident involving homeless people and follows the deaths of three men availing of services for the homeless in the city in the past year.

Timmy Hourihane (53) a native of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in west Cork, died at CUH in the early hours of October 13th, 2019 following an assault on a green area on the Mardyke where he had been living in a tent.

Gardaí have since arrested and questioned two men, aged 37 and 26, and a woman in her 30s in connection with the killing and a file is currently being prepared on the matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

On October 25th, 2019, another man, James Duncan (40) from Knocknaheeny died after spending several weeks in a coma in CUH following an assault while attending a soup kitchen on Patrick Street on September 12th.

Gardaí later arrested a 46-year-old Englishman for questioning about the assault but he was released without charge and gardaí have begun preparing a file on the matter for the DPP.

And then on December 28th, 2019, the dismembered remains of homeless man Frankie Dunne (64), were found in the grounds of Castlegreine House on the Boreenmanna Road on the city’s southside.

Gardaí later travelled to Romania in January to interview a 29-year-old suspect about the killing of Mr Dunne, who was originally from Churchfield on Cork’s northside, and officers are currently preparing a file on the killing for the DPP.

Earlier on August 15th, 2019, gardaí began an investigation after a homeless woman in her 30s reported to Cork Simon that she had been sexually assaulted on the old railway siding off Brian Boru Street, not far from the scene of Monday night’s assault.

Cork Simon staff contacted gardaí and the woman was taken to the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital where she was examined and treated at the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit and gardaí later took a statement from her.