A Dublin business has vowed to re-evaluate its decision to operate 'anti-homeless sprinklers' following a public backlash today.
Dublin Ink has come under fire for installing sprinklers outside its Cow's Lane premises, which are activated by a motion sensor between 10pm and 10am.
When activated, the sprinklers release a 15-second stream of water and aim to deter people from loitering in the area.
The decision has sparked outrage, with many arguing that they could endanger the lives of homeless people during freezing conditions.
sprinklers are extreme & dangerous in these temperatures but 'anti homeless devices' unfort have a purpose & can be necessary
— rick and morto (@DylanTeeBH) December 7, 2016
Anyone defending the anti-homeless sprinklers: spraying someone with water in the depths of winter is inhumane & could literally kill them
— spit’s okay to cry (@motherofnaggins) December 7, 2016
Re: Dublin Ink and there anti homeless sprinklers. These methods of deterring only force whoever involved to push a problem elsewhere.
— Stephen Fagan ???????? (@StephenFagan117) December 7, 2016
However, Kevin McNamara has defended the company's decision, saying that it is not a measure against the homeless community but a necessary step prompted by the city's drug problem.
"These are not anti-homeless sprinklers, as people are calling them. They are not there to deter the homeless, it's a safety precaution to protect our staff. We've had a member of our staff attacked and threatened with a syringe by someone claiming to have the HIV virus, as well as having faeces and other substances left outside our door," he said.
"We've tried everything. We've gone to court, we've gone to the HSE, the City Council; nobody will help us. They just keep saying that it's a private premises but we have a duty to protect our staff."
McNamara added that the business would now be reconsidering its stance on the sprinklers.