Friday 19 January 2018

'Here's something to eat!' - Homeless man pelted with eggs by group of men in Dublin city

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Meadhbh McGrath

A homeless man was pelted with eggs in the early hours of the morning by a group of men who shouted “here’s something to eat!” before fleeing in their car.

The Inner City Helping Homeless group were completing their nightly run when the attack took place on Lord Edward Street at 12.15am.

Councillor Christy Burke was driving through the area with two volunteers from the group when he spotted the man, named Gavin, crossing the street.

The Dublin City councillor told he offered Gavin a cup of tea and soup, and asked him to walk down further so he could pull over the car.

“As I got out, this car came by and it was like a drive-by shooting. They were roaring ‘here’s something to eat!’” Mr Burke said.

He noted that it’s not uncommon for drivers to shout out “fair play” or “keep up the good work”, but he quickly noticed the men in the car, a beige Audi, had flung eggs at Gavin as they drove past.

The men threw so many eggs that a number of them splashed Mr Burke’s car as well.

“There was the driver, the thug hanging out the passenger side who pelted the eggs, and another one in the back roaring out after him with his hands out the window,” he said.

“Our man was wiping himself down on his jacket and trousers, and I asked him was he okay. He said, ‘You get used to this.’”

Gavin is aged in his 30s and from Dublin. Mr Burke said he fell on hard times after a broken relationship and took to heavy drinking.

“He was a very nice guy, he never echoed one word of bitterness or resentment,” said Mr Burke.

“I’ve seen some horrible things over the past four years, and what struck me was how dignified he was. No bitterness, no talk, and he kept saying ‘thanks very much’.”

The volunteers gave him a ‘hygiene bag’ filled with toiletries, along with a banana, a sandwich and a cup of coffee.

After four years working with homeless charities, Mr Burke said he has “never once met someone who was aggressive to us”.

“It was just sickening behaviour,” he said.

“I saw it as an act of cowardice.”

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