03 December 2014, The Tablet

Dublin archbishop offers shelter to rough sleepers

The Archbishop of Dublin has offered to shelter some 40 homeless people in church buildings over the Christmas period, after a man died in a doorway metres away from the city’s Parliament buildings.

In a statement Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that he was in a position to make a “substantial” diocesan property available for emergency accommodation for people who are homeless.

The press release noted that staff had been asked to proceed as quickly as possible and that the archbishop wanted the building to be ready as soon as possible.

Archbishop Martin, who on Monday visited a drop-in centre for homeless people, said he was “very deeply concerned about a deeply divided Dublin where on the one hand there is rejoicing at increased spending over the Christmas period and on the other hand where the number of those homeless and hungry is actually increasing."

He also called for a public summit of all those involved in fighting homelessness to address the need for emergency accommodation.

On Monday the body of a 42-year-old homeless man, Jonathan Corrie, was found by a passer-by in a doorway.

According to the Christian Today website, more than 160 people sleep rough in Dublin each night, where temperatures drop to around three degrees in December and January.

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