Paul Tynan with his tent on James Fintan Lalor Avenue
A Mountrath man who says he is homeless since last November pitched his tent on James Fintan Lalor Avenue, outside Laois County Council’s offices in Portlaoise on Wednesday, vowing not to leave until Laois County Council provides him with suitable accommodation.
Paul Tynan (38) said that having been released from serving a six month custodial sentence for “breaking a chair in his sister’s house” in Castlerea Prison that he was not linked into any homeless services prior to or upon his release.
Mr Tynan said that he underwent a hernia correction operation in a Roscommon hospital shortly before his release and that the prison released him back to the hospital’s custody which, in turn, sent back to Laois in a taxi with 29 staples in his stomach.
“I then presented as homeless to Laois County Council and was given temporary emergency accommodation in Mountmellick. After making several complaints to Laois County Council about conditions in the accommodation, I told them that I couldn’t stay there any longer.
“I was told a few days ago that Laois County Council is not in a position to offer me anything and will not be in a position to offer me anything into the future.
“I’ve been sleeping rough on the streets around Portlaoise seeking shelter wherever I can, even in the Accident & Emergency department in Portlaoise Hospital when the weather gets bad. I don’t beg for money, I play my guitar and sing to try to survive.
“I can’t get a social welfare payment because I don’t have an address. I have pitched my tent between the Council offices and the community welfare offices so they can see where I live if they look out their windows.
The housing department of Laois County Council declined to comment. However, a spokesperson did say that the Council cannot discuss individual cases due to data protection.