Homeless man Jonathan Corrie was offered shelter, Dublin agency claims

Coalition aims to meet goal of eliminating long-term homelessness by 2016

Candles  outside the doorway on Molesworth street where Jonathan Corrie  was found dead. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Candles outside the doorway on Molesworth street where Jonathan Corrie was found dead. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Dublin’s homeless authority says repeated offers of accommodation were made to Jonathan Corrie, the rough sleeper who died just yards from Leinster House earlier this week.

The organisation said state-funded services made a significant number of interventions with the 43-year-old homeless man, including what it described as “holistic and assertive” on-street assistance.

“Repeated offers of emergency accommodation were provided, however, Mr Corrie did not avail of these, as was his right,” the Dublin Region Homeless Executive said in a statement.

Major debate

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly has insisted the Government still aims to meet its target of eliminating long-term homelessness by 2016.

Mr Kelly will convene a forum on homelessness late this week to discuss the issue following the death of Mr Corrie.

The Minister said he believes funding is not the main factor in tackling homelessness, adding that he wants to “focus attention and activity on this issue which is very important at any time but is particularly sensitive at this time of year”.

Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin, the chief executives of the four Dublin local authorities and representatives of non-governmental organisations have also been invited to the forum.

Dr Martin, backed by Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke, had called for the “public summit” of all those involved in fighting homelessness, together with municipal, political and business leaders in Dublin, to address the “immediate question of emergency accommodation for the homeless”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny indicated there will be a special Dáil debate on the issue next week.

The Cabinet discussed homelessness yesterday and, speaking afterwards, Mr Kelly was adamant the Coalition still aims to meet its target of eliminating long-term homelessness by 2016, describing it as an “absolute ambition” of the Government.

Funding

“We also have to ensure people will take these units, will actually go. Many of these people have very complex situations, particularly if they’ve been homeless before.

“ It’s not just providing them with a place to stay; we also have to address their issues in a concerted way and do so in all cases.”

Homeless charities say there are not enough emergency beds to cope with demand for places and have warned of future deaths as the cold weather sets in.