TWO Cork men suffering from alcohol addiction issues have said they are living in fear of attacks from heroin addicts after experiencing a number of assaults on the streets.
The friends, who spend much of their time together on the streets, said that heroin addicts are targeting alcoholics before members of the general public to avoid detection.
Both men asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons but wished to open up about their experiences in the hope of helping others.
The men were seeking shelter under some trees on the Maradyke Walk close to Cork’s tented village, where a number of homeless people reside, when met by The Echo.
Both said they were welcome back at their family homes. However, issues with alcohol addictions mean they often leave their houses to drink on the streets for days on end. One man explained that he had been kicked out of his home due to his alcohol struggles but said he couldn't sleep in a nearby tented community.
“I wouldn’t sleep in those tents,” he said.
“I would rather not live than have to sleep in those tents. We have been drinking here for two days. Neither of us has slept at all.”
He spoke of how their situation is making them vulnerable to attacks.
These attacks, he said, went unreported due to shame and feelings of self-blame.
His friend said that he had his jacket and phone stolen but was too ashamed to report it.
“It felt shameful. I felt ashamed that I had put myself in that position. I was shook and angry. I kept asking myself ‘why did I put myself in this position?’ A lot of alcoholics on the streets don’t know how to be aggressive. They’d take their heart out and give it to you.”
He added that sometimes victims of the attacks will have their social welfare payments stolen from them.
“They’ll target vulnerable people and try to bully them. That person would have just saved up his money for the week and they’ll take it from him. If you’re weak in any way they’ll take whatever you have.”
Those suffering from addictions can find information on help and resources on corkdrugandalcohol.ie/services-in-your-area/homeless-housing-projects/Anyone affected by homelessness can log onto corksimon.ie