#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 9°C Monday 25 October 2021

Man sleeping rough at GPO says 1916 leaders 'must be turning in their graves'

“The people that stood on this doorstep in 1916 did not stand for this,” Mick Keane says.

THE GPO WAS the main focus for the State commemorations of 1916 on Sunday.

President Michael D Higgins laid a wreath in memory of those who died, a member of the Defence Forces read the Proclamation, and a fly-past of Air Corps planes was performed as tens of thousands looked on from O’Connell Street.

A clip from tonight’s Inside the GPO documentary from RTÉ, however, highlights the contrast between scenes like last weekend’s and a typical night on O’Connell Street – as we hear from one of the men who regularly sleeps rough outside the country’s most iconic building.

“The people that stood on this doorstep in 1916 did not stand for this,” Mick Keane says, in an advance clip from tonight’s episode.

“They did not want to create this type of Dublin. They wanted to create one where we would all have equal opportunities but, hang on, that is not happening.

That is totally not happening. These people must be turning in their graves, they must be so ashamed of what Dublin has become because it certainly isn’t the Dublin these people fought and died for.

Mick has been sleeping under the portico of the GPO every night for a year, since returning from the UK.


There are currently 5,715 men, women and children in emergency homeless accommodation across the State, according to the latest figures. During one night in November of last year there were 152 people without a safe place to sleep in the city, including 91 sleeping rough and 61 people sheltering at the Nite Café on the South Quays.

Lisa Nevin, who is shown putting up the GPO’s Christmas decorations in tonight’s programme, says there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets in recent years.

“I have been doing this for years and years and years and I have never seen the homelessness as bad as it is now,” she says.

I am actually shocked about how many older men there is, just sleeping everywhere. Especially O’Connell Street but I am sure they are sleeping down every street.

A campaign to highlight the homeless crisis from the Simon Community included the release last week of a video featuring an actor and rapper who has experienced homelessness, at the entrance to the GPO (below).

Source: Dublin Simon Community/YouTube

Tommy KD, who made a memorable appearance in Love/Hate, is shown passionately reading key excerpts of the Proclamation.

Inside the GPO airs at 7pm on RTÉ One. 

Read: The GPO’s flashy new 1916 exhibit is a cross between Rebellion and Call of Duty

Read: RTÉ cameraman injured in demonstrations on O’Connell Street

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel