The donated jackets, which appeared on the bridge earlier this week, have been removed.
Dublin City Council has responded to the ‘Warm for Winter’ initiative, asking people not to leave clothes hanging on the Ha’penny Bridge.
Earlier this week, coats were noticed hanging on Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge, appearing alongside a poster reading: “If you need one then please take one. If you want to help, please hang one up #warmforwinter”.
Placed there by kind-hearted locals, the coats were donations to the homeless community to help keep them warm during the cold winter nights.
However, the jackets have since been taken down.
A video originally posted by Ali Nic an tSaoir, has been circulating online, showing DCC workers gathering up the coats and removing them from the bridge.
Onlookers were left shocked and outraged by the incident, with one bystander describing it as “one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen”.
dublin city council removing the coats that people have left on the ha’penny bridge for the homeless is honestly one of the most disgusting things ive ever seen
— jenny♔ (@TheJennyMolloy) December 7, 2019
Responding to the initiative, DCC took to Twitter to say:
“Dublin City Council asks people not to hang clothes on the Ha’penny Bridge for health & safety reasons-it reduces pedestrian flows & causes congestion on bridge.
Please consider giving them to charity shops. Items collected by DCC will be redistributed via our homeless services”.
Dublin City Council asks people not to hang clothes on the Ha’Penny Bridge for health & safety reasons- it reduces pedestrian flows & causes congestion on bridge.Please consider giving them to charity shops.Items collected by DCC will be redistributed via our homeless services
— Dublin City Council (@DubCityCouncil) December 7, 2019
People were quick to point out that passing the coats to a charity shop would incur a cost for the homeless, defeating the purpose of the donations.
Most homeless people can’t afford to buy coats from charity shops. The congestion excuse is nonsense aswell because tourists constantly block the bridge taking selfies.The Ha’penny bridge leads right into a tourist hotspot. you tried to hide the homeless issue plain and simple.
— Glen Kearney (@glenkearney888) December 8, 2019
There have been calls for DCC to reveal which charities the coats were given to as the public want to verify the claims that the coats have gone to the right people.
@DubCityCouncil says they gave the jackets they removed from Ha’Penny Bridge to a homeless charity. Can you confirm which charity as so we can verify ??
— Cllr. Anthony Flynn (@AnthonyICHH) December 7, 2019
Others suggested that a notice letting people know where to go to find the coats would also be helpful.
@DubCityCouncil where have DCC taken the coats for the homeless that they collected from the ha’penny bridge? Were they left somewhere dry in out of the coming storm so that people in need could still get them? A notice letting people know where to go instead would help.
— Marie Phelan (@marieva51) December 7, 2019
With many saying that the campaign helped to restore their faith in humanity, the latest turn of events has proven to leave quite a sour taste in people’s mouths.