Candle-lit vigil held to remember Jonathan Corrie

Ceremony to turn on Christmas tree outside Leinster House postponed as a mark of respect to homeless man who died in doorway

People hold a candlelight vigil outside the Dail, to pay respect to Jonathan Corrie, who was found yesterday morning just metres from the gates of the political establishment.

 

The ceremony to turn on the Christmas tree outside Leinster House was postponed tonight as a mark of respect to the homeless man who died in a doorway just yards away.

A candle-lit vigil in memory of Jonathan Corrie (43) went ahead outside the front gates of Leinster House while flowers and candles were placed on the doorstep where his body was found on Monday morning.

One handwritten message on cardboard read: “A little too late. It is about the billionaires we know you look after best and forget about the rest”. Another drew attention to the number of vacant properties in the city. “I feel ashamed that in a country full of spare houses and rooms that we did not put a roof over your head”.

Many of those present at the vigil are homeless themselves and knew Mr Corrie .

A speech made earlier in the Dáil by the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly about the homelessness situation was relayed over a loudspeaker to a crowd of approximately 150 people who held the vigil outside the gates.

“He’s sitting there in the heat inside and we’re outside in the cold,” one homeless man remarked.

Gavin Hanlon, a homeless man who sleeps outside the former Anglo Irish Bank on St Stephen’s Green, now a Starbucks, knew Jonathan Corrie. He described him as a “gentleman.”

“He wasn’t one given to complain about his situation. I was actually on a bus this morning and I heard people talking about a body that was found in Molesworth Street and it was only then I realised that they were talking about somebody I know. I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me here today,” he said.

Mr Hanlon said a man, who had to be restrained at the vigil because of his rage at the lack of beds for homeless people, had a point. “It’s going to get worse and worse. People have nowhere to go. You ring the free phone and they have the thing taken off the hook because they just don’t want to deal with it because they are overloaded.”

Amy Malone, who organised the protest with a few others, said Mr Corrie had died because of neglect by the State. She queried why the Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has managed to find an extra € 10 million to deal with the homelessness crisis.

“We shouldn’t have to wait for a man to die for them to do something about it,” she said. “They (the Government) had the opportunity to make amends with this and rectify the situation a long time ago. There’s plenty of people with the skills and know how and they did nothing about it.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.