Tributes paid after death of homeless services volunteer in Cork

Lithuanian Arunus Butkus (53) found unconscious in street on Friday and died at scene

Lithuanian national Arunas Butkus (53) was found unconscious lying on the pavement in Cork on Friday and was pronounced dead at the scene. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Lithuanian national Arunas Butkus (53) was found unconscious lying on the pavement in Cork on Friday and was pronounced dead at the scene. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Warm tributes have been paid to a volunteer with a homeless charity in Cork who died after he was found unconscious on the street in the city centre over the weekend.

Lithuanian national, Arunas Butkus (53) was found unconscious lying on the pavement on Lower Oliver Plunkett Street near the Cork Simon Shelter at around 10.30pm on Friday night.

The emergency services were alerted and paramedics performed CPR on Mr Butkus but they were unable to resuscitate him and the man was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor.

Mr Butkus’s body was removed to Cork University Hospital where a post-mortem has been scheduled to take place on Monday which gardaí hope will establish the exact cause of his death.

Gardaí say there was nothing to suggest anything suspicious or sinister about Mr Butkus’s death and they will now begin preparing a file on his death for an inquest at Cork City Coroner’s Court.

Mr Butkus had been a volunteer with Cork Penny Dinners, who began caring from him two years ago following his discharge from Cork University Hospital after being diagnosed with a serious illness.

Caitriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners described Mr Butkus as a tireless worker with the charity, working as a volunteer, helping with making hampers for families who were struggling.

“He had been working in a bakery here and they were very good to him - he was a warrior for work - he would work tirelessly and it was the same when he was helping us at Penny Dinners.

“He used to love fishing and he would often bring in the fish that he caught and cook it with us in Penny Dinners in his own traditional Lithuanian style - he was a great cook,” she said

“We had him looked after in terms of accommodation but he was in very poor health even though he never complained but he started to get weaker and weaker about three weeks ago.

“He had an outstanding medical team at both Cork University Hospital and the Mercy who went above and beyond at all times for him - it’s very sad but may he rest in peace now.”