A HOMELESS man who had taken refuge in the home of a kind-hearted Limerick priest passed away over-night this week.
The man, who was in his 40s, was given a room to stay in for two nights at the Raheen parish house of Fr. Michael Noonan, who found him at 9am this Monday.
Gardai at Roxboro station are seeking to contact relatives of the deceased man, who is believed to be from Cork. Gardai have confirmed that the death is not suspicious. A post-mortem was due to take place this Monday at the University Hospital Limerick to establish the cause of death.
“This is a very sad time for me and for all concerned,” said Fr Noonan in a statement. “This man has come to me for help on a number of occasions over the last seven years but I had not seen him for about seven months until he turned up recently. I helped him get accommodation but two nights ago he asked could he stay a night or two. I have a spare room and offered it to him. He was delighted with having a bit of company and a warm bed to put his head down on. He said that for the first time in a long time he felt secure.
“I am deeply saddened that he has passed away but consoled very much by the fact that he died knowing there was a welcome for him and he is now at peace. I would ask that people keep him and others who find themselves homeless or in other vulnerable situations in their thoughts and prayers, especially at this time of year,” said Fr Noonan.
The Bishop of Limerick has also asked the people of the diocese to pray for the soul of a homeless man who died overnight. Bishop Brendan Leahy said it is a stark reminder that, despite the good work of agencies across the country including in Limerick, many people are still vulnerable across the country.
“Our first thoughts are with relatives of the deceased and with those who have offered their support over recent, trying years for him. This is a reminder of the difficulties that some people in Ireland face today. In praying for his soul and recognising the sadness of his death, we are at least consoled by the fact that he was shown care at the end of his life. As we approach Christmas, we think of the infant Jesus and how there was ‘no room at the inn’ for Mary and Joseph on the night he was born. In asking for prayers for the deceased, I would hope that his death will be a reminder to us all of the need to make room in our lives for those who are down on their luck, in whatever way, this Christmas,” said Bishop Leahy.