Homeless man found dead in tent in Ranelagh in Dublin

Man in his 50s had been known to outreach workers for a number of years

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has described as "very sad" the death of a man who had been sleeping rough in Ranelagh, Dublin on Tuesday.

The man, who was in his 50s, had been known to outreach workers for a number of years.

He had been sleeping in a tent behind a hedge near the entrance to the prestigious boys' secondary school Gonzaga College for the past few weeks, according to sources.

A Garda spokeswoman said Dublin Fire Brigade and gardaí from Donnybrook were called to the scene shortly after noon on Tuesday. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.


It is not known whether the man’s death was related to low temperatures between Monday night and Tuesday, which fell to 3 degrees.

Dublin Regional Homeless Executive was aware of the man, who it said had been "periodically engaging with services over a number of years".

Mr Murphy, in whose Dublin Bay South constituency the death happened, said the man had been engaging with outreach services for a number of years.

“I want to offer his family my condolences. We are treating this with the utmost seriousness and sensitivity and providing them with every assistance that we can,” he said.

Cold weather strategy

Anthony Flynn, director of the Inner City Helping Homeless organisation, called for all additional emergency beds, due to open next month as part of the executive's "cold weather strategy" to be opened immediately.

He said volunteers with the nightly outreach teams were “under pressure” in recent weeks as the number of rough-sleepers reached record highs.

The latest official rough sleeper count, conducted on November 7th, found 184 people sleeping rough in Dublin – an increase of 30 per cent since a count in April.

“It was harrowing looking at the numbers of rough sleepers last weekend,” said Mr Flynn. “It’s an indictment. There’s been an over-concentration on the fact there may be an election over the weekend. The finger has gone off the pulse in every Government department for the past week. This death should not have happened.”

Mr Murphy said tackling homelessness “remains the top priority” for the Government.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times