A Gang Of Four Guys Urinated On A Homeless Man In Dublin Last Night – And Laughed
We often talk about the loss of dignity that's endured by those who are experiencing homelessness in Dublin and beyond – but seldom does it take on a form quite as overt and ugly as this.
It's disturbing, it's vile and it's really, really saddening. But it happened, right here in our city, last night: a man urinated on a rough sleeper, while three of his accomplices looked on.
The ordeal was documented today by Julie O'Connor of Walking In THEIR Shoes, a charity that provides regular soup kitchens for homeless people in Dublin; you may have seen them on occasion outside the Central Bank.
Julie's post begins:
Last night at 1.30am I got a phone call from one of my friend's daughter. She was distressed and it took her a while to calm down and explain to me exactly what had happened. I was also a little perplexed as to why she was calling me.
Then she explained and I was upset, furious and disgusted about what had happened.
"She had been waiting for a bus when she saw four youths approach a homeless guy sleeping," she continues, "when one of of them actually urinated on the homeless guy right in front of her eyes, whist the others looked on laughing.
"Without thinking she ran over screaming at them to stop but after giving her abuse they ran off."
Julie's account explains how the charity took emergency measures to help the man, but that he was too embarrassed to accept any help
"At 67 years old he had fallen on hard times and admitted he had turned to the drink. But he refused to sleep in the hostels as he never felt safe," the post reads.
"I tried to convince him to let me take him to the Merchant's Quay Night Cafe where he could shower and change but he was just too embarrassed and ashamed. He also refused to let me call the gardaí to report the incident.
"Instead all I could do was encourage him to change out of the soiled top and trousers, wash himself down and put on a clean, dry change of clothing."
And sadly, it all ends on a note of futility
"I have said I will call to see him tonight and have asked ICHH to keep an eye out for him on their travels in the area. Wish we could do more but apart from bring him home with me – what?"
So this is Dublin 2016.
For all we love about it, and for all we wish to celebrate it, this will not be an image we shake out of our minds too quickly.
What is it going to take?
You can read the full post here.