Vigil held for homeless man Jack Watson who died in Dublin

Jack Watson was one of two homeless people who died in separate incidents yesterday

Vigil held for homeless man Jack Watson who died in Dublin

Jack Watson during a joint project by Geza Oravecz Photographer & Barry Caesar Westend Barbers. Image: Geza Oravecz /Facebook

A vigil has been held outside Leinster House in memory of the homeless man who died in Dublin’s city centre yesterday.

Jack Watson was one of two homeless people who died in separate incidents yesterday

The vigil was organised by volunteers who knew Mr Watson through soup runs in the Capital.

It comes as new figures show 99 families with 214 children became newly homeless in Dublin in July

It is the second highest number recorded since 2013, and the highest number since January 2016.

The figures from Focus Ireland mean a record number of 1,178 families with 2,423 children are now homeless in the capital.

The charity’s spokesperson Roughan Mac Namara has warned that serious action is needed form the government:

“We run the risk sometime with social issues that government can look at managing this in the media,” he said.

“Of course we know the government wants to tackle this issue – like everyone – but there are some very tough decisions that could be taken to lessen the number of homeless families every month and they haven’t been taken as yet.”

The Housing Minister has issued a statement saying the level of homelessness is “totally unacceptable.” 

Minister Murphy has also announced plan to hold an Emergency Housing Summit in Dublin next week.

Dublin City Cllr Christy Burke said words are not enough form the government.

“Not at all, it is easy,” he said. “And the minister, by the way, is a former city councillor – he was on the city council with myself.”

“I have a saying now to the minister and everybody else – don’t tell me anymore but show me.”

Simon Community ambassador Glenn Gannon called on the Taoiseach to take decisive action:

“It is a crisis, it is an epidemic – and here we are again,” he said.

“Several years ago, Jonathan Corrie died on the steps of Dáil Éireann.

“We got lots of promises. I hope Leo Varadkar is listening, I hope Leo Varadkar is going to step forward as a leader who will take control and who will do something to end homelessness.”