Homeless man speaks from makeshift camp in Limerick

Up to 15 people reportedly staying in tents at city location

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Homeless man speaks from makeshift camp in Limerick

A camp has been set up in a derelict building on the city outskirts Picture: Brian Gavin/Press 22

A YOUNG man living in a homeless camp in Limerick city has spoken of its conditions.

The 25-year-old man, who did not wish to be named, spoke to reporter Brian O'Connell for RTE's Sean O'Rourke show this Tuesday, saying: "I never thought I'd end up in a place like this, literally scabbing to live."

The refugee-style camp, it is reported, had six people staying there – but that number can peak at 15.

It is understood it is near an abandoned warehouse unit on the outskirts of the city. The occupant of the camp spoke on condition that its location would not be revealed.

He said: "It is very chilly coming down here at night-time. God knows, you don't know who or what you'd expect. These are all derelict buildings, specific buildings where the tents are. Through the day and night you can hear the rats and all types of animals all around the building.

“I arrive back here in the early hours, 1am or 2am, and it's bitter cold. It's icy. I don't know what it is going to be like over the next few days."

"It's a nerve wracking place," he added, but added that everyone looks out for each other.

However, he said that alcohol and drug use does spark trouble.

The young man said he is from Co Limerick and tragically lost his mother and father at a young age.

He also has an acquired brain injury and said he was previously "hooked on heroin, cannabis, cocaine and tablets".

"I'm not clean, but in a financial rut," he added. "The first thing is for me to get out of here."

"I find a lot of people to be quite ignorant. If people could only look and see what life is like for the people who are out here."

Fianna Fail councillor Sean Lynch, who revealed the presence of the homeless site at a metropolitan district meeting last week, said that the issue has escalated in recent years.

"Previously, you had the odd few who were begging on the street, but they were very few. Homelessness was not a huge problem," the former detective garda said.

He added the "frightening" figure that there are "approximately 1,000 heroin addicts in the city".