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'It's why homeless people won't stay in these places' - Woman assaulted by fellow resident at Dublin hostel

The Irish woman had moved to Dublin from the midlands less than three months ago.
Sep 11th 2017, 12:05 AM 21,570 57

shutterstock_493508542 (1) Source: Shutterstock/Artsplav

A HOMELESS WOMAN who claims to have been recently assaulted by a female fellow resident of her Dublin hostel says the threat of drug-related violence is what is keeping people with no place to stay on the streets.

The woman in question is aged in her 40s, and had recently become homeless from her former address in the midlands.

She had been living in the hostel, located in the city centre, for a number of weeks prior to the alleged assault.

Gardaí were called to the hostel on the night of the incident, which took place on 23 August.

“I was beaten for 15 minutes,” the woman told TheJournal.ie. “And she was just allowed to do it, the whole thing was a set up, they’d told me they were going to do it for days.”

The woman was hospitalised following the incident. The alleged perpetrator, meanwhile, fled the hostel when the gardaí were called.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie that a “minor assault” had been reported by the victim, and that investigations are continuing.

“I feel the incident was instigated by another person who I kept being put in the same cubicle as,” the woman said.

“She had threatened me the week before with my hairdryer, said she was going to wrap the cord around my neck and smash me in the face with it.”

They’re addicts, most of the people in that hostel. They’re allowed to shoot up in there, to smoke heroin in the rooms. I’d never seen anything like it before I came to Dublin.

“I told the people running the place: ‘look, I’m not going to be safe in there.’ I kept reiterating it that I wasn’t safe, I know I’m not safe, but all they could say is ‘look, most of these people are addicts’.”

‘Couldn’t afford it’

The woman in question was recently made homeless when her rent was raised at her former home.

“I couldn’t afford it, and I couldn’t find anywhere else. I came to Dublin looking for a place to stay and ended up in the hostel. It’s not something you plan,” she said.

“I was stuck in the cubicle with two addicts for weeks. The girl who attacked me, the night it happened she was trying to wind me up, to antagonise me, asking me does she look fat. How can you answer that.”

I was just tired and wanted to go to sleep. Then she asked me ‘do you want protection, I can protect you from anyone who might hurt you’.
I just said I really don’t know what you’re talking about, and then she came right in my face and pushed me down full force. Then she was punching me and kicking me in the head. She pulled out so much of my hair. It was the gardaí that ended it, but that took forever.

The level of monitoring of substance abuse in Dublin’s homeless accommodation varies from place to place, although one source suggested to TheJournal.ie that at the hostel in question “you would expect that generally rooms and cubicles are checked every 15 minutes or so”.

“But no-one can be everywhere all the time, so of course stuff can slip through.”

TheJournal.ie has placed a query regarding this matter with homeless services. A reply had not been received at the time of publication.

The woman has since moved to alternative homeless accommodation, in which she has her own room.

They’re telling me I have to press charges. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I mean, if I do that what else will happen to me?
These people know everyone around the whole of town. They’re everywhere and they all know each other.

“If you’re ever wondering why homeless people don’t want to go into hostels, well there’s your reason,” she said.

If you’re not an addict it’s an impossible place to be.

Read: ‘I used to have to wash myself in a bookies every morning because there would be needles all over the hostel’

Read: The number of homeless families in Ireland has increased by almost 300 in the past year

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Cianan Brennan

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