herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Laughing thugs taunt homeless man before pelting him with eggs

Christy Burke saw incident
Christy Burke saw incident

A homeless man was pelted with eggs by a gang passing by in a car during a disturbing late-night attack in the capital.

The man, who was sleeping rough, had been getting food from volunteers on a soup run, when three men drove by in a car.

They shouted at the homeless man "do you want something to eat?" before laughing and launching eggs out of the car window at him.

The incident happened on Lord Edward Street on Dublin's southside, shortly before midnight on Thursday.

The man, in his late 30s, is understood to have brushed off the incident, and said that he was used to that sort of behaviour.

Former Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke was volunteering with charity group Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) when the attack happened.

"I heard 'do you want something to eat?' and I turned around and there was this car, four-door beige, and next thing I heard two things fly past me - I didn't know what it was," Mr Burke said. "It was one of the crew who said to me 'it's the guy, he's after being pelted with eggs'.

"The car flew by, windows down, all laughing, and he pulled a hanky out of his pocket and started cleaning himself down.

"They were obviously out that night for the purpose of crucifying people less fortunate than them," he said.

The ICHH group are understood to have offered to get the homeless man fresh clothes to replace his top and trousers.

However, he was more interested in trying to get a bed for the night.

"It didn't seem to bother him, he was used to it," Mr Burke said.

"The team that was with me were blown away, but it just didn't surprise me," he added.

Mr Burke labelled the perpetrators as "cowards and thugs" and said that he hoped they never have to sleep rough on the city streets.

ICHH chief Anthony Flynn told the Herald that these are not isolated incidents.

He said that there have been a spate of unsavoury incidents in recent weeks - including one where another rough sleeper was urinated on.

"It's disgusting that a vulnerable person can be treated like this," Mr Flynn said.

"We had our own outreach team around Pearse Street, there was a regular client sleeping there and a group of guys came out of the train station and attempted to urinate on somebody.

"So we've had three or four incidents in the past couple of weeks. It's intolerable that somebody would try to urinate on another person.

"It seems that every week we're coming across an incident of either somebody being assaulted or something," he added.

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