Shocking images show homeless man living in rat-infested hole near Grand Canal, Dublin, The Clowns in Dail Eireann, are not interesting in solving this Crisis.
The man has been sleeping rough for over three weeks
These shocking pictures show the life-threatening reality homeless people are facing with many fearing they will freeze to death this winter.
One horrific image shows a man, in his 30s, who climbs through a hole to an underground embankment tunnel near Dublin’s Grand Canal.
He has been sleeping for months in shameful, rat-infested conditions across the road from a sparkling €40million building that houses the Canadian Embassy.
Tony Walsh, the founder and chief executive of the Feed Our Homeless charity, said: “He won’t go into the hostels. We’re engaging with him the last three weeks.
“At the start he wouldn’t even put his head out of the wall, he wouldn’t even answer us.
“And then over a few weeks he started shouting out saying he didn’t want anything and then he started coming out gradually.”
Lisa Brady, 38, and her 24-year-old friend Aaron Fitzpatrick have been sleeping in a tent near the canal for five months.
The mum of three said: “It’s only going to get worse.
“I was saying to Aaron I’m amazed we haven’t been found dead somewhere yet, it’s that cold. It’s ridiculous.” Closer to the city centre, homeless father and son Petru and Ciprian Blaj have been bedding down in the open air on a mattress in Wolfe Tone Park for five months.
Petru, who works for a waste management company, and 17-year-old Ciprian came to Ireland looking for a better life.
But the Romanian nationals have been unable to access emergency accommodation.
Petru has engaged with Dublin City Council’s homeless service at Parkgate Hall in recent days.
The 41-year-old said: “I have been working with [the company] for four months.”
Ciprian added: “My dad finishes work after 5pm and we come here then. It’s not possible to ring the freephone [number for emergency accommodation without a PPS].
“We shower at the Capuchin Day Centre in Smithfield.”
Mr Walsh said: “No matter who you are, you still should be entitled to an emergency bed.”
There were 155 rough sleepers in the capital on Sunday night, with 140 homeless people in doorways and parks on Monday.
A sleeper was pronounced dead at St James’s Hospital after he was found unconscious at Foster Place in Dublin on October 19.
Lisa and Co Cavan man Aaron have huge concerns about sleeping in a tent as winter sets in.
The pals said they were previously in Peter McVerry Trust hostels in Charlemont and Richmond but both closed and the buildings were sold.
Lisa added: “My three kids are old enough to understand and they worry a lot that I’m out here as well.”
She revealed her eldest child is 19 and in college in Carlow. Her two younger kids are 13 and 14 and living in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, with their dad.
She said neither she nor Aaron have addiction issues.
Lisa, from Coolock, North Dublin, added: “I wake up and my face would be stuck to the tent and then you have the rats as well. We were in another tent [further down the canal] and they bit through it.
“You would hear them outside killing each other. The noise of them and they were trying to get in the front opening as [Aaron] was closing it.”
Lisa, who previously worked in New Look, said she became homeless because of “family problems” more than four years ago.
She added: “People don’t understand it can happen to anybody.
“People judge it all the same and they look down and think everybody’s an alcoholic or a drug addict. But we’re not all the same when you actually talk to people.”
Lisa, who claimed she has been on the council waiting list for 19 years, said: “Aaron’s dying with the flu again and we’re only after getting over it.
“We move the tent constantly because we keep getting eviction letters. If we got a decent [safe] hostel we’d go in but at least in a tent you’re not on a doorway frozen.”
Mr Walsh added: “There’s a lot of people presenting for the first time homeless and they don’t know what the [emergency] hostels are like and then they get a feel for them and the carry-on in terms of the drugs and violence, they don’t want to be there.
“We need an overhaul of all the State-funded hostels around the city because the hostels are not safe. Dublin City Council will tell you there’s plenty of beds for everyone and there is, but the hostels aren’t safe. With the amount of rough sleepers we have out there, one morning we’re going to wake up and hear on the news that someone else is dead.”
A Dublin Region Homeless Executive spokeswoman yesterday denied PPS numbers are required to access emergency accommodation.
She said: “In relation to the father and son, I can confirm they have been offered emergency accommodation but refused it.”
As for Ms Brady and Mr Fitzpatrick, the spokeswoman added: “They have been offered emergency accommodation a number of times but have refused it.”
Fred says: We have this Nation Crisis for years now and this Government does not have the will or the drive to solve it. A crisis of this magnitude should be a priority at the Cabinet table on a weekly basis, it should Not be Leo in his pink socks and telling us we all live in the land of Equality. The reality is we don’t. We live in a land, in my opinion, of a three tier society: the wealthy; the middle class; and the in work poverty. Now, when you put this into figures – 1% hold the vast wealth in Ireland and there lies the problem. On top of this we have a national drug problem where cocaine is bought as easy as ordering a Chinese takeaway. Then add to this the problem of the Gangland Feuds, not forgetting the lawlessness on the Border at present in relation to the Quinn Holdings and the Lunney’s and McCaffrey who are presently under death threats. This only concludes that the present Government are literally out of their depth in running a small country. How can we tackle homelessness if we don’t have a Government that can deal with the problems at present within Ireland. Let me go again: We have the above national crisis of Homelessness; we also have the problem of Gangland out of control; we also have the problem of a drug epidemic (polydrug too) across this country; not forgetting the number of unsolved murders. What does this tell you? We need an early election urgently but this time the people should tread very carefully because the people now who are going forward for politics sadly are not up to the tasks that lie ahead. We have had the SwingGate, we have the Fraud DailGate scandal, yet nobody faces any reprimand so again I ask is it possible, when there is an election called, that there could be an outcome where a Coalition could be formed to try and solve the national scandals mentioned above. I will close today by saying: Our Gardai may pull their PR stunts by collecting a few Rolex watches and the odd stash of hash and the rest – this is only the tip of the iceberg. The Truth is they have lost the trust of the Irish people and especially among the young who have no respect for them at all. I have had my fair share of encounters with Rogue Cops and attempted stitch-ups and I know from experience they are still a private army where Loyalty comes before the Truth. Fred
Addendum: Can somebody reassure us that the Gardai now have signed off on the Ethics code; only a few months ago it was reported that in excess of 50% had refused. Whistleblowers are still treated like lepers in this country and there only crime is telling the Truth.