The tragic discovery of the body of a homeless man following a sub zero temperature winter's night has raised concerns about the plight of Dundalk's rough sleepers.
49-year-old Paul Gorman's body was found in the trolley bay of the Longwalk Shopping Centre Dundalk by a member of staff at Tescos at approximately 12pm on Friday.
He had been sleeping rough on Thursday night, when temperatures plummeted below zero.
Mr Gorman, originally of Lennon and Melia Terrace, Dundalk, leaves behind his partner Kathleen and three children. Gardaí are not treating the death as suspicious and an inquest will follow.
His death comes less than a week before Louth County Council's official bi-annual Rough Sleepers count.
Michelle Ryan of Dundalk Simon Community has described Mr Gorman's death as a 'tragedy'.
“This death is a tragic event. It's heartbreaking. To die alone and on the streets - what could make for a sadder Christmas,” said Michelle.
“Our thoughts are with Paul’s family and his many friends – both within and without the homeless community. He will not be forgotten.”
The Simon Community are now calling on those in power to do what is nescessary.
“As a homeless service we have experienced a 20 per cent uptake on 2015. The beds in our hostel are full night after night. And as we head into a rough winter our resources are stretched to the limit to meet the demand for shelter, the need for support and the desire to ensure that no one is left out in the freezing night air.
“We would therefore appeal to those with influence, those in power, to those whose voices are louder than our own: please ensure that everyone who needs a place to stay, and anyone who needs emergency accommodation, gets it.”