Saturday 21 September 2019

No room at the inn for homeless man in tent

Rory Lonican's home is a tent in the Rocks for Christmas.
Rory Lonican's home is a tent in the Rocks for Christmas.

By Maria Pepper

A young man who is lucky to be alive after a fall left him in a coma for two months, is now homeless and sleeping in a tent at The Rocks in Wexford.

Rory Lonican is facing waking up on Christmas morning in a small tent under a copse of trees which he said has been his home for the past three weeks.

He is one of a growing number of people finding themselves homeless in Wexford where there is a waiting list of 50 for the Ozanam House hostel for homeless men in Thomas Street.

'I'm number 48 on the list. Fair play to the hostel though. I'm getting my dinner there a few days a week and getting the odd shower.'

'It's so cold. I wake up around seven or eight in the morning and I light a fire to keep myself warm.'

The 27-year old father of a two-year old daughter, is a native of Mullingar and grew up in residential care. He has lived in Wexford since 2006, mostly in rented accommodation but was asked to leave the last premises as he didn't have the money for rent after his dole card was stolen.

'The Council said they can't do anything, that I just have to wait until a place comes up. It doesn't look like anything is going to be sorted this side of Christmas,' he said.

'I would like to have a place to live so I can sort out my life, said Rory who was slashed in the face several years ago during an attack in Wheatfield Prison. 'I have a past,' he said.

In 2011, he was seriously injured in a fall from a roof in George's Street and was in a coma for two months. He spent a total of nine months in hospital between Wexford General, Beaumont Hospital and the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire.

'I suffered brain damage. I had to learn to walk and talk all over again. It set me back a few years. I still get seizures,' he said.

Wexford People

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