Tuesday 16 January 2018

Rough sleeper was kicked by drunk woman and mocked by crowd

Homeless man was kicked by a drunk woman. Stock picture
Homeless man was kicked by a drunk woman. Stock picture
Mike Allen of Focus Ireland
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A homeless man was kicked by a drunk St Patrick's Day reveller and had beer thrown over him in two separate incidents.

A volunteer with Inner City Helping the Homeless (ICHH) said he met a regular on O'Connell Street on Thursday night who revealed the separate attacks.

"He had been kicked by a woman who was drunk and then a crowd of people were laughing and pointing at him," said volunteer Dean Malone.

The man also had beer thrown over him by a passer-by.

"It's completely unacceptable. To be kicked and splashed with beer is deplor- able," said Mr Malone.

On the same night, the volunteers also encountered a pregnant woman who was too afraid to go to a hostel.

ICHH director Anthony Flynn said the run-up to St Patrick's Day had seen a spike in people hassling rough sleepers.


"It's a case of people not respecting that there are rough sleepers in the city," he said.

"The reports from Paddy's night were unbelievable. To be interfering with people who are minding their own business and causing no trouble, shows no compassion."

Meanwhile, Focus Ireland has called for a referendum on the right to a home in the lifetime of the next government.

The body's director of advocacy, Mike Allen, said it was "shocking" that one in three homeless people are children.

He also said the situation in Tyrrelstown that saw families issued with notices that theitr rented homes would be sold, has left all tenants feeling fearful.

"We believe the caretaker Government has the power to take urgent action in the Dail next week to alter legislation so that a landlord's desire to sell a property is no longer a valid ground for eviction. This is the type of action that would keep families in their home," he said.

Focus Ireland has also sought a commitment to build 40,000 social housing units over the next five years.

The rent supplement should also be set in line with market rents, said Mr Allen, in order to keep families in their homes.

Focus Ireland estimates that more than 500 young people are trapped in homelessness because their social welfare rate is too low to secure a home and they are unable to find jobs or training as they have no domicile.

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