Dublin City Council have issued a statement after a man was left with life changing injuries, when his tent was removed by an industrial machine on Tuesday afternoon on the Grand Canal, with him still inside.
The homeless man, whose age is unknown, was sleeping in his tent when it was removed by the vehicle during works being carried out by Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland.
The incident occurred at the Wilton Terrace and Lesson Street junction between 12pm and 1pm on Wednesday afternoon.
The victim was admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital where he underwent surgery for the injuries he sustained in the incident. It was understood he had been living in a tent close to the bridge in the area for some time.
Homeless charity Inner City Helping Homeless tweeted following news of the incident, and said: “We keep hearing stories about people’s tents and belongings being taken by the council but this takes things to a new level. Absolutely you lack of humanity and compassion.
“The fact that someone was seriously injured when their tent was removed as they slept in it is beyond disgusting. Where is the humanity for other human beings? We hope the man makes a full recovery but answers are needed.”
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Dublin City Council said: “An incident occurred yesterday involving a homeless man on the Grand Canal during a process where Waterways Ireland were removing tents that were placed in a precarious and dangerous location.
“An individual was injured during the process and was taken to hospital. The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive is currently liaising with the hospital and every support is being provided.
“Our thoughts are with the man at this time. The Executive has been engaging with the individual for some time and accommodation remains available to him.
“Every action that is taken by state services is taken in the interest of health and safety of those individuals experiencing homelessness.
“The matter is currently being investigated by the Gardai and there will be no further comment.”
Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, tweeted that he was ‘saddened’ by the incident. A poster advertising Murphy’s upcoming General Election campaign was positioned next to the tragic scene.
Murphy said: “I was saddened to hear of the incident by the canal yesterday. My thoughts are with this poor man as he recovers in hospital. I’ve demanded a full report in to the incident which is under Garda investigation. My campaign poster which was located at the scene has been removed.”
Gardai are continuing their investigation into the incident, and forensic teams are examining the area.