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Jonathan Corrie

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

The silent vigil followed the discovery of the body of a homeless man just yards from Leinster House on Monday.

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OVER 100 PEOPLE gathered outside Leinster House as a vigil to highlight homelessness was held in the wake of the death of a homeless man just yards from the entrance to the Oireachtas.

Crowds came together, with some people holding candles, shortly after 5.30pm yesterday evening while several candles and flowers were placed at the doorway on Molesworth Street, just 50 yards from Leinster House, where the body of Jonathan Corrie was discovered Monday morning.

Several politicians, including Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, came outside to talk to some of those who attended the vigil.

Derek Parker, a psychiatric nurse at the Merchant’s Quay homeless service who knew Corrie, said that he had come to pay his respects.

“He [Jonathan Corrie] used to attend our service, we just came to pay our respects and highlight the issue of homelessness to people who maybe aren’t aware of it,” he told TheJournal.ie.

“He had his problems but he came to access support from us, he would attend us regularly. We were a bit shocked when we heard it was him that had passed away.”

“If it hadn’t happened here I think it would have been just another statistic and no one would have shown up here, no one would have been interested.”

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

Eileen O’Sullivan, from Bray, said her mental health issues mean she is at risk of homelessness all the time. She said she’s been on the social housing list for the past eight years.

“Every year I go through a whole kind of dance between the landlord and the rent allowance limits. Between the rent allowance limits and the landlord I am caught in the middle which means I can become homeless at any time, what that does is it flares up my illness.”
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She said that rent controls, like those in place in Germany and Canada, should be introduced in Ireland, saying they could be linked to the consumer price index.

She added: “We’re at this moment in time when the straws are breaking the camel’s back all around us. It’s not just people like myself, it’s happening to middle-class people now who are very close to the edge.”

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Martin Kelly, from Drimnagh, said that people are dying “every week in this country from these situations”.

“A situation like this galvanises people,” he said. “There is so much going on in the country that people feel disempowered and that’s why there is so much focus around water because it’s something that affects everyone.”

He called for more housing to be built and said that rent control should be introduced in Ireland.

Read: Leinster House postpones turning on its Christmas lights after homeless man’s death

Enda: Getting all the rough sleepers off the streets would be very difficult

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