Ashes of chef who died sleeping rough in Dún Laoghaire to be repatriated to Latvia

‘Lovely chap’ dreamed of no longer being homeless and returning to work

Igors Cernikovs (33) who was found dead in Dún Laoghaire on July 12th. Photograph: Instagram

The ashes of a young chef who died sleeping rough in Dún Laoghaire will be repatriated to his native Latvia next week.

The body of Igors Cernikovs (33) was found by another homeless man on Monday, July 12th, in the Sussex Street area of the south Dublin town at about 11.30pm. It is understood he worked for an Italian-American restaurant in the city centre.

A spokesman for the Garda confirmed it was “investigating all the circumstances of the discovery of a body of a man in his 30s” .

"The coroner has been notified and the body of the deceased was removed to Loughlinstown mortuary for a postmortem examination. Foul play is not suspected at this time," he said.


Among those who had known Mr Cernikovs was Sandra Perry, who with others founded Dún Laoghaire Helping the Homeless. It ran a soup stall in the town two nights a week until 2018, when Ms Perry and a number of other volunteers continued providing a mobile outreach service.


"We first came across Igors in late 2019. Himself and his friend had been made homeless and they were sleeping in the ruins at Monkstown Castle."

She believes he was still going to work while sleeping rough, though with the onset of the Covid pandemic he lost that job in March 2020.

"He did go back to work for a few weeks last summer down in Greystones but unfortunately with the second wave the job finished up again. He was sleeping rough and staying with friends on and off, around Dún Laoghaire, and around the unemployment centre there.

“I think he was trying to get his name down for housing but with all the paperwork, I don’t think he managed it.”

She heard about his death the morning after his body was found through social media. “One of the young lads that was with him found him. He rang the ambulance and police.”

‘Very sad’

She says she tracked down a brother and a former partner, with whom he had a young daughter in England. His former partner arranged that local undertakers, Colliers, organise his cremation, which took place on Thursday.

“A few of us went and sat with him for a little while before he went off to be cremated,” said Ms Perry. “It’s very sad. There were about six or seven people there. I was quite tearful leaving, thinking it was just no way for somebody to go.

“He was such a lovely, lovely chap and full of life. All his dream was to get himself settled back into a home life and back to work. He really had everything going for him, had such a lovely heart. It just shows what can happen when someone loses their home. The Government should be doing more to help the homeless.”

A spokesman for Colliers undertakers confirmed Mr Cernikovs’s ashes would be repatriated to Latvia, where his father lives. It is understood he was predeceased by his mother.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times