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Dublin: 17°C Monday 15 August 2022
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Apollo House vigil cancelled amid reports of sex crime convictions for homeless man who died

Stephen “Jack” Watson had previously been deported from Australia.

Shane Watson took part in a photography project earlier this year.
Shane Watson took part in a photography project earlier this year.
Image: Facebook

A VIGIL FOR homeless people planned for Apollo House tomorrow has been cancelled after previous convictions for sexual crimes of a homeless man who died came to light.

Stephen “Jack” Watson had been sleeping rough in Dublin city and was found dead on Suffolk Street last Thursday morning.

Watson had previously been a resident at Apollo House when the disused building was taken over by homeless activists from Home Sweet Home last Christmas.

Since his death, it has been revealed that Watson had used a number of different aliases and had previously been deported from Australia.

The Irish Sun reported yesterday that he had previously been jailed for 18 months in Australia after being convicted of sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 16.

The paper also said that he was deported from Australia after amassing 40 convictions over 19 years.

Home Sweet Home had planned a vigil tomorrow evening following Watson’s death, and the deaths over two other homeless people recently, but this has now been cancelled.

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The group says that it was “shocked” by the reports about Watson and that the vigil has been cancelled “out of respect for the victims”.

“Those associated with the Home Sweet Home campaign are shocked at reports that a homeless man who passed away last week had been deported from Australia for very serious crimes,” said a statement from Home Sweet Home.

Out of respect for the victim of these crimes a planned vigil outside Apollo House on Thursday evening has been cancelled.

“This does not change the fact that many people have died as a result of our housing emergency. This is totally unacceptable and urgently needs to be addressed,” the statement added.

Read: ‘People shouldn’t be dying on the streets’: Call for action after another homeless person dies >

Read: ‘Doing everything we can’: Minister to lead emergency housing summit after death of two homeless people >

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Rónán Duffy

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