News & Media

Rough sleepers vulnerable to attack – more Winter supports needed

14 October 2019

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Reacting to the shocking killing of a homeless man in Cork on Sunday, Labour Housing spokesperson Deputy Jan O’Sullivan said:

"This is a shocking incident that the Gardaí are investigating, and I echo their calls for anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity or know any details to speak to An Garda Síochána.

“On behalf of the Labour Party I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Timothy Hourihane.

“Sadly, the increase in rough sleepers, and the number of people sleeping in tents has become the norm for too long.

 “While this was an assault that led to death, as the depths of winter set in and the temperatures plummet, I am really concerned there may be more deaths on our streets before the winter is out due to exposure.

“Too often it appears to be single men who are making use of tents as they are reluctant to use hostels and other emergency accommodation and over time can fall through the gaps in the system. That is why we need to see increased investment into state owned and backed social housing and the Housing First programme.

“I acknowledge the extra emergency beds that have been provided and the outreach work being done by Housing charities, but people will continue to die on our streets if there is not a comprehensive, methodical, sustainable response that provides rough sleepers with a home and the supports they need.

“We are told that money is no object; it needs to be spent to avoid further deaths on our streets."