News & Media

Cork homeless crisis demands Government response

15 October 2019

Statement by Cllr John Maher
Dáil By-election candidate for Cork North Central

Following the violent killing of Timothy Hourihane, Labour Cork City Councillor John Maher has called for the Government to respond to the homelessness crisis in Cork which has seen a 30% rise over the last year, demanding that the Minister for Housing visit the city and meet with stakeholders as winter approaches.

Cllr Maher said:

“People are shocked about the violent and senseless killing of Timothy Hourihane early on Sunday morning in the Mardyke. I want to express my sympathies to his family and friends, and call on anyone with information to contact the Gardaí.

“This death should be a wake up call for Cork. We should not tolerate violence, nor the fact that more and more people have to resort to living in tents in our city.

“Front line staff in the Council, Cork Simon, Penny Dinners and other organisations are doing huge work to tackle the problem, but we know it is getting worse.

“This is not the first death on the streets of Cork, and as the winter approaches there is a real risk of more.

“Over the last year in Cork, from May 2018 to May 2019 there was a 30% increase in the homelessness rising from 314 to 407, and we know that official statistics don’t cover those sleeping rough.

“We need to know that Homeless Services have every resource they need and that appropriate and sufficient shelter is in place for the winter. Nights are getting colder, and the weather will only worsen so it is time for action.

“The Minister for Housing announced a further €20m in funding for 2020 homeless services, taking the overall budget next year to €166 million.

“What I want to see is the Minister visiting Cork, not for photo ops, but to see first hand the problem facing our city, and engage with stakeholders on the solutions needed.”