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Ex-addicts make film of life on street

A group of recovering drug addicts have made a film on the scourge of homelessness in Dublin.

A dozen former addicts were given the chance to produce a movie about a topic close to their heart as part of the Community Addiction Programme based in Thomas Street - they selected homelessness and many drew on personal experience.

The short film, No Fixed Abode, is a fictional account of Ann Darcy's real-life battle with life on the streets. Ann Darcy ended up living between hostels and sleeping rough in 2012.

Putting together the emotional dialogue and acting it out on screen brought back a rush of memories for the 50-year-old.

"You don't see many people my age sleeping rough and the men tend to stick together. As a woman you have that constant fear that people are going to urinate on you and spit on you on top of everything else," she said.

"I ended up on the street after my marriage broke down. I left my home when my kids were all grown up," she added.

Clean

She has been clean for over a year and now has a roof over her head. She is now living in a bedsit provided by the council.

The film was shot mostly in Dublin 8 with the flats on School Street and the Tivoli car park all appearing in the footage.

"We wanted to show that it's a hard life on the streets now and that the situation is getting worse around the city," John Duffy (53) explained.

"People tend to shrivel away from those on the street and assume it's all down to drugs," he added.

John worked on all aspects of the production and he said that, like all of the others, he went into the process "completely blind" and came out the other side with a film.

The film is available to stream for free online.

Johanka Macekova, a development officer for South West Inner City Network, said that the process was about creating new skill-sets in the team.

"They have something to be proud of now and it instils confidence," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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