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Dublin: 14°C Sunday 20 June 2021
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Man sleeping rough on Killiney beach "not confident of surviving" winter

Craig Laven worked in construction, but became ill and had a massive heart attack earlier this year.

ais1 Source: Aisling Kenny/RTÉ via Twitter

Updated at 5.05pm

A MAN SLEEPING rough in the shadow of Killiney Hill in south Dublin – an area surrounded by some of the capital’s most wealthy suburbs – has said he’s “not confident” he’ll survive the winter.

Craig Laven told his story to RTÉ’s Aisling Kenny – and the report was broadcast on Morning Ireland today.

He suffers from lung disease and had a massive heart attack earlier this year.

Originally from Scotland, Craig came to Ireland eight years ago and worked in construction before becoming ill.

“It’s a beautiful place but I’d rather not be here, I’d rather be in a house,” he told the reporter.

“It’s going to get cold. It really is going to get cold.

“I actually get a bit emotional thinking about it, because I’ve got lung disease, I’ve got a bad heart.

“I’m not confident about surviving. I’m really not.”

5/9/2014. Sorrento House in Dalkey Killiney beach, looking onto Killiney Hill. Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Craig sleeps in a tent off the beach. He set up camp six weeks ago after making his way from Cork, and said he had gone to homeless services at first, but that hostels were ”dangerous places”.

He told a story about checking into one hostel, and how another service-user ”out of his head on heroin” stole heart pills from his backpack and started taking them.

Craig receives a disability allowance but isn’t entitled to rent allowance, listeners were told.

“It’s embarrassing,” he said of his makeshift accommodation.

“It’s embarrassing. People know. They know when you’re sleeping in a tent that you’re homeless.

“It brings you down.”

ais2 Source: Aisling Kenny/RTÉ via Twitter

Also speaking to the programme, local TD Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit said he had seen “absolutely tragic heartbreaking stories of people in dire housing situations” coming through the door of his clinic recently.

“People who are disabled, families, absolutely dire situations and of course really extreme cases like Craig that we’ve seen – living on the beach.”

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council said it was investigating Craig’s situation.

The case comes to light following a renewed focus on homelessness in Dublin in the wake of the death of Jonathan Corrie in a doorway just metres from the entrance to Leinster House last December.

At the start of this summer, Dublin City Council said it had recorded the biggest decrease in the number of people sleeping rough since counts first started eight years ago. The number of people in emergency accommodation continued to rise, the Council said.

Read: In his own words: Jonathan Corrie on homelessness – and hoping for a chance

Read: “He could have been helped a bit more”: Jonathan Corrie’s devastated family on his tragic death

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