Mardyke Death Update: City Hall say the homeless victim had been granted permanent housing

Mardyke Death Update: City Hall say the homeless victim had been granted permanent housing
Probably the last photo of homeless man, Tim Hourihane, who was found dead at the weekend at the tented village on the Mardyke in Cork. This photo was taken by amateur photographer John Finn three days before he died.

Cork City Council said the homeless man killed in the Mardyke yesterday had been granted permanent social housing tenancy with the necessary housing supports.

Timothy Hourihane died following an assault on the Mardyke Walk in the early hours of yesterday morning. 

A number of tents have been set up at the location by homeless people in recent months.

In a statement, Cork City Council extended its sympathy to the family and friends of Timothy and appealed to the public to contact the gardaí if they have any information.

"The man had presented to homeless services on a number of occasions over several years and had been granted a permanent social housing tenancy with the necessary housing supports by agencies helping people to move on from homelessness," City Hall said.

"Cork Simon Outreach team had remained in contact with him over the past number of years."

"The Council Outreach and the Cork Simon Outreach team regularly monitor the welfare of a small number of people who are sleeping rough in the city centre and actively encourage them to engage with the city’s homeless services and to avail of the various supports that are available to people."

The Bishop of Cork has offered prayers for the family and friends of Timothy Hourihane following his death in Mardyke.

Bishop Fintan Gavin is currently leading a pilgrimage to Lourdes where he led prayers for the deceased homeless man.

The Bishop of Cork Fintan Gavin offered prayers following the death of a homeless man in the city. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
The Bishop of Cork Fintan Gavin offered prayers following the death of a homeless man in the city. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Bishop Gavin said: “It is always a tragedy when anyone dies but these are such sad and brutal circumstances."

"The tragic news has reached us in Lourdes where a pilgrimage from Cork & Ross is praying at Our Lady’s Shrine. I want to assure the man’s family and his friends, and all who knew him, that our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time. May Our Lady of Lourdes reach out with healing and peace to all.”

The head of one of Cork’s leading homeless charities described the death of Timothy Hourihane which took the life of a former service user as a wake-up call for the Government.

A member of the Garda forensic team at the Mardyke Walk, Cork, working where a man was discovered in an unconscious state and taken to the Cork University Hospital where he later died. Picture Dan Linehan
A member of the Garda forensic team at the Mardyke Walk, Cork, working where a man was discovered in an unconscious state and taken to the Cork University Hospital where he later died. Picture Dan Linehan

Witnesses at the scene of yesterday's incident had reported a tent on fire close to an unconscious man. Gardaí arrived at the scene before the injured man was taken away by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Caitríona Twomey from Cork Penny Dinners who knew Mr Hourihane said she fears that society is becoming desensitised to the shocking deaths on our streets.

“This is a warning to the Government that the homeless crisis needs to be solved now,” she said. “It’s not just housing that is needed, but more treatment and support centres.”

“The fact that this is becoming ‘normal’ does not mean that we should now be immune. There were no deaths for a couple of years. However, they are now a common occurrence. A strong voice is needed, now more than ever, for those at risk.”

Superintendent Mick Comyns making an appeal for witnesses at the Mardyke Walk, Cork, where a man was discovered in an unconscious state and taken to the Cork University Hospital where he later died. Picture Dan Linehan
Superintendent Mick Comyns making an appeal for witnesses at the Mardyke Walk, Cork, where a man was discovered in an unconscious state and taken to the Cork University Hospital where he later died. Picture Dan Linehan

She warned that despite several deaths there are still no solutions to the homeless crisis in sight.

“It’s most important that strong, practical solutions are put in place by our Government,” she said. “This is very worrying for others in the homeless community. We are facing into another cold, wet and unpredictable winter, yet there are no solutions in sight.”

Ms Twomey said the incident has left others from the homeless community in fear.

“You can feel it in the air,” she said. “People are both shocked and heartbroken.”

The Cork woman emphasised that more resources are needed for those at the frontline. “The Government need to sort the homeless crisis now. More resources are needed for gardaí, hospitals and everyone making up our frontline services.”

Garda superintendent Mick Comyns appealed for anyone with information on the incident to come forward.

“We are appealing to anyone who is in the area from 11pm to 1am to contact us,” he said. “This area has a lot of guest houses. There were people staying in these guest houses who would have checked out this morning. The man had injuries consistent with an assault but doesn’t have injuries consistent with being in a fire.”

Anyone with information has been asked to contact Anglesea Street Garda Station on 021 452 2000 or contact the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111. Alternatively, they can go to their nearest Garda station.

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