Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD said the deaths of two homeless people in Cork city over the weekend reinforces the argument that more resources and improved initiatives are needed to tackle the problem.  The man and woman had been using the services of homeless organisations in the city before they disappeared at the weekend.  Their bodies were taken from the water at Custom House Quay last night.

Deputy Martin commented, “These tragic deaths further highlight the extent of the homelessness problem, not only in Cork, but across the country and emphasises the need for increased resources to ensure that all people are provided with a roof over their heads and a bed to sleep in at night.

“We were all shocked at the death of Jonathan Corrie two weeks ago in Dublin city centre, but unfortunately he is not the only person to die in such tragic circumstances.  These latest deaths bring to four, the number of homeless people who have died in Cork in recent weeks.  This shocking statistic must act as a catalyst for urgent action.  The provision of additional emergency beds in Dublin is welcome, but we must ensure that services in Cork are afforded extra resources to increase capacity across the city.

“I am urging all of the agencies and organisations who work in or with homeless services in Cork to meet as a matter of urgency to discuss what additional supports they need to tackle the problem.  The Government and Minister Alan Kelly must step up to the mark and ensure that homeless services are enhanced and extended outside of Dublin. 

“The situation will become more acute over the coming weeks as temperatures continue to plummet.  Homeless organisations are doing all they can in extremely constrained conditions to ensure those sleeping on the streets are taken care of, however, unless the Government provides additional resources for services in Cork, there is a real possibility that there may be further tragedies in the city”.