Cork homeless man who was found dead spoke of the community as being a forgotten one

Cork homeless man who was found dead spoke of the community as being a forgotten one

A homeless man who was found dead in Cork city earlier this week told a radio station last month that people like him were forgotten during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Gardaí are investigating the unexplained death of Gary Dineen (35) in Cork City on Wednesday.

The body of Mr Dineen was found at Merchant’s Quay Car Park, on the Parnell Place side, shortly after 11.30am on Wednesday. The scene was preserved and a technical examination was carried out.

A post mortem took place yesterday afternoon (Thursday) at Cork University Hospital. The results have been given to Gardaí.

In a moving interview on the Opinion Line, on Cork's 96FM, Mr Dineen said that he became homeless because a landlord was selling his house.

"I have been homeless a few times over the years but I have always got back on my feet and got a place again. I am homeless about two and a half years now.” Mr Dineen told host PJ Coogan about the recent death of his former partner which had left him devastated.

The deceased, Gary Dineen
The deceased, Gary Dineen

"It was unconditional love. I loved her and she loved me. When the landlord was selling the house she went to stay with people and I came to Cork as homeless.

That broke our relationship then. We were talking about getting back together. She wasn't in the best place."

Mr Dineen, who was a father of two, said he lost his mother when he was just five years old.

"My world since then has just crumbled down. I feel like with the homeless that nobody cares about anyone. There was another (homeless) fella pulled out of the river (recently) who I knew very well. I knew him 13 years.

The amount of stuff that goes on around the place makes you worse and then you are battling your own demons. It is hard.

Since her death (the death of his partner) I have been in hospital twice. I relapsed. I was clean until she died.” 

Mr Dineen acknowledged that he had received help from the Simon Community and Penny Dinners. He said he was on the streets from 7am every morning until 9pm during the pandemic.

"The whole place was empty and it was full of homeless people throughout the place. Everything was closed. There was empty hotels right behind me. Empty hostels everywhere. There are people out on the streets for the whole virus."

Mr Dineen said he received considerable assistance over the years from his "godsend" of a sister who was like a mother to him.

"She has been there from me for everything."

Gary, who was originally from the north side of Cork city, was on the housing list and spoke of his hope of receiving accommodation.

He admitted that he didn’t know how much longer he could cope on the streets.

"I don't have the heart or the strength for it (being homeless) anymore. "

A talented musician he had made recordings for his family on Soundcloud which he wanted to leave behind in the event of his death.

He stated that as a lyricist it was important to him to write encouraging words about "being down."

"All I want to be is a good dad. I have two sons and I just want to show them the difference between right and wrong and whatever."

He added that he had spent the entirety of lockdown on the boardwalk or in and out of Simon.

"There are two empty hotels (in the area) and five to ten people sleeping around the doorways. It would make you sick. Every night Penny Dinners were coming around and handing out the dinners fair play to them and Simon. I just need to get off the streets. It is degrading."

Gardaí are asking the following to contact Bridewell Garda Station at 021-4943330, The Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.

“Anyone who was in Mr Dineen’s company from Saturday August 8.

Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious or unusual in Merchant Quay Car Park and its environs August 8 to August 12.

Anyone that availed of the services of the Merchants Quay Shopping centre car park who may have noticed anything, particularly drivers with dash cam footage from August 8 to August 12.”

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