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Thursday 19 October 2017

Barber's choice cuts for homeless on city streets

Barber Warren Flynn pictured at work on the street at Westland Row
Barber Warren Flynn pictured at work on the street at Westland Row
Barber Warren Flynn

A BARBER who cut the hair and trimmed the beard of a homeless man on a Dublin street was surprised by the reaction to his good deed.

Warren Flynn (22) wanted to do something to help homeless people by taking his scissors, tools and a fold-up stool onto the streets of the city.

A photograph of him cutting the hair of the homeless man whom he met on Westland Row got half a million views on the Facebook page of the Inner City Helping Homeless charity.

Mirror

But it was the response of the homeless man himself who saw in a mirror his transformed appearance that Warren appreciated most.

"I've been homeless for four-and-a-half years. This is the best I've ever felt," the unnamed man told Warren.

The young barber, who lives in Finglas South, runs 'The Dublin Barber' in Ringsend. For some time he has admired the volunteer work done by his friend Anthony Flynn who was one of the founders of a new charity _ Inner City Helping Homeless.

"I just felt I wanted to give something back as I'm lucky enough to have a job. So I went out walking the streets and I got chatting with a guy who had a sleeping bag outside Pearse Street Dart station," Warren told the Herald.

The 28-year-old homeless Dubliner accepted Warren's offer of a free haircut. The young barber opened his fold-up stool and there, on the public footpath, the two men continued chatting as he gave him a haircut and then trimmed his beard.

"His hair was pretty long and his beard was fairly rough. I gave him a modern fashionable haircut and used some gel. And gave the beard a trim. When I held the mirror, it was like he didn't recognise himself at first," he said. "It was an amazing feeling for me. I think it's the barber's craft to treat everyone like a VIP and make them feel the best they can."

Warren said he plans to return to the streets in future to offer his services again to the city's growing numbers of homeless.

aokeeffe@ herald.ie

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