The Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, has made the following initial remarks in response to the emerging news this morning of the death of a young homeless woman in Cork not far from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in the neighbourhood in which he lives:
I was deeply shocked when I woke this morning to the news that in our own neighbourhood a young woman, not yet named, who, I understand, had been staying in a tent not many metres from here, has been found dead. My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones and friends.
We are all deeply aware of the complex challenges of homelessness in our community and country. Somehow, that this death has happened near the very place where our city of Cork was founded, seems, in its own symbolic way, to strike at, and to challenge, the emotional and moral foundations of our society.
I am sure that, like me, many feel helpless as we face this crisis of homelessness. In spite of the fact that our very small Church of Ireland community in Cork has its own housing projects, and that we work in partnership with and support of those who have the greatest insights and experience in this area, it is clear that more needs to be done and that across many sectors of society we need to pool our efforts. I ask myself ‘what can I do?’ We each have a part to play; it is not something that we can simply accuse others of not doing.