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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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In his own words: Jonathan Corrie on homelessness - and hoping for a chance

AUDIO: The man who tragically died virtually on the doorstep of Leinster House in an interview only a few months ago.


Source: thejournal_ie/SoundCloud

Click here to listen to an extract from the audio, or use the player above.

I THINK EVERYONE should have a chance, every single person on their own should have a chance.”

Those fateful words came from homeless man Jonathan Corrie just over two months before his tragic death virtually on the doorstep of Leinster House.

In the interview with Dublin City FM reporter Hannah Parkes, obtained exclusively by TheJournal.ie, the 43-year-old said he could only remember having one flat for 2 days in his entire adult life.

“It has become a way, a way of life,” he said.

“Sometimes I miss the comfort but a lot of the time I just like parking myself off in a sleeping bag – it has become a way of life.

To get a job you need a base and you need a good three square meals a day as well, to be honest, and you need some good sleep – and you won’t get it on the street so you can’t just grab a job on the street when you’re in a sleeping bag.

“Maybe people have done it, but that’s a big, big, big f’n thing, you know?”


Source: thejournal_ie/SoundCloud

Click here to listen to an extract from the audio, or use the player above.

At that stage, the articulate and softly-spoken Corrie was camped outside the Dunnes Stores building near St Stephen’s Green – only a few minutes walk from the Molesworth Street doorway where his body was found on Monday morning.

Following the tragic death of homeless m Source: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Homeless forum in response to tragedy

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has announced a special forum on homelessness tomorrow following the tragedy, while yesterday’s ceremonial turning on of the Oireachtas Christmas Tree lights was postponed after the death.

In the radio interview, Corrie – who spoke with Parkes for about 20 minutes before accepting a sandwich and pastry – said he found it “rough” sleeping on the streets, but added many hostels were also dangerous places to stay.

“I actually stay away from the hostels in general because of that. As I’ve got older, I just want a bit of peace and quiet.

“If you’re homeless obviously you’ve got a problem, there’s something going on. It could be drugs, it could be drink, it could maybe just be a bad upbringing – it could be a lot of stuff, mental issues.”


Source: thejournal_ie/SoundCloud

Click here to listen to an extract from the audio, or use the player above.

Since his death, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive issued a statement which said both statutory and state-funded, voluntary homeless services had provided “holistic and assertive, on-street assistance” to the 43-year-old.

Following the tragic death of homeless m Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

“Repeated offers of emergency accommodation were provided, however, Mr Corrie did not avail of these, as was his right,” it said.

When asked about getting accommodation, Corrie said he accepted there were a lot of short-term services around Dublin – but getting a long-term home was much harder for any homeless person.

“I think every person should be given a chance, maybe some new scheme where they say ‘OK we’ll put you in here, we’ll give you a chance for a couple of months or something, and if you pay your rent … then we’ll move you on’,” he said.

Flowers laid for homeless man found dea

“Because there’s a huge amount of empty buildings which could be converted. I think everyone should have a chance, every single person on their own should have a chance. Apart from that how can you solve homelessness?”

A candlelight vigil for Corrie was held outside Leinster House last night as people continue leaving tributes where his body was found.


Source: thejournal_ie/SoundCloud

Click here to listen to the full interview.

First published 10.45am

READ: There was a very moving vigil for the homeless outside Leinster House last night >

READ: Alan Kelly cancelled a meeting with councillors about homelessness because of water charges >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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