Homeless Dublin man was ‘stabbed seven times’ and partner lost baby on the city’s streets

“The city centre is mad. I’ve been stabbed seven times and I’ve had an axe to the back of the head”

Shauna and Martin

Eugene MastersonSunday World

A homeless couple who used to live in a tent will share a heart-breaking moment on TV of successfully battling to get housed by a local council after several months struggling to get a proper home.

Hungry rough sleepers Martin (29) and Shauna (22) will also be featured on Stories From The Streets giving false addresses to they can get takeaway food delivered to them.

The young couple are one of several homeless people and also those involved in helping them who take part in the series.

“Losing my family, that’s where my whole f**king life changed,” Martin revealed.

“I don’t know how I’m 29, it’s a miracle I’m still here. I ran away. All the wounds I have is from being on the streets. It’s not a good thing to be saying but several times I feel like suicidal, you don’t want to be in this world no more. (sic)

“I have beautiful kids here and I have them tattooed on my arm. Every day I wake up and I see them (sic) tattoos, that’s what makes me focused and makes me keep going, they need me.

“Because I lost my parents at a young age, I want to give my kids the best I can.”

Martin is reflective on what he wants.

“My goal is to be in a secure location, that I would be able to sit back, have a job, have my kids over at the weekend and live a normal life,” he says.

“If that’s what you call ‘normal’, because I don’t know what is normal these days.”

He is seen tying ropes to a tree near St James’s Hospital, where he pitches his tents.

“I have nowhere to sleep tonight,” he says. “It’s not for me, it’s for herself, I have a partner there. I have responsibilities and she’s experiencing this. She’s 22 years of age and it’s very f**king wrong, to be experiencing this.

”Helping Shauna now is helping me because I love the bones of her.”

He adds he gave a sleeping bag away to another man in need on the streets, so he gave away one of his two, one of which he used to sleep on and the other over him.

“Shauna cannot stay on the streets on her own,” he insists. “She is young and vulnerable. She is young and my woman, she is my partner, she is my soul, so I am not going to let her stay out on the streets on her own.

“Even if it takes me to go out in a tent with my partner I will.”

The couple maintain it is easier for homeless men to get put up in hostels compared to women, while for a couple together it’s near impossible.

Martin also recalls he was in several care homes around the country but ran away from them “as I was getting beat to death in them”.

“They (other homeless people) all have the height of respect for me because I’m clean (from drugs), I go around the streets clean so they have that respect. If I respect them they should respect me,” he explains.

He reveals that he has suffered numerous injuries on the street.

“People have said about the city centre that there’s this spot that’s mad and that spot that’s mad,” he observes.

“Every spot in the city centre is mad. I’ve been stabbed seven times. I’ve had an axe to the back of the head, I’ve had a hammer to the side of the head. That’s all from the streets.”

Shauna remembers meeting Martin ,“I was renting a place in Arklow and he was staying with my sister, that’s how we first met,” she recollects. “I obviously couldn’t keep up with the rent, so I had to give that up and became eventually homeless.”

Shauna also had a falling out with her mother and her mum’s partner and could not go to them for help.

She also has a young daughter, who is not allowed live with her unless she has stable accommodation.

The couple are seen several times ringing Dublin City Council emergency accommodation lines on freephone numbers throughout the day, but generally have no success after eight months.

Shauna also suffered a miscarriage with Martin’s baby.

“It’s not only her that goes through it, it’s me as well knowing there was a baby there,” he fumed.

“I wasn’t eating. I was feeding her, making sure she was fed all the time. The stress of all this, the stress of being on the streets, the stress of being here now. Everything has become too much for me. My head is wrecked. I just can’t cope. It’s killing me.

“Every day I’m just going around in circles. I can’t leave my woman out on the streets. I feel a responsibility. She’s 22 years of age and I’m 29, I feel like she’s my responsibility. I just can’t cope, man.”

Shauna is also disconsolate. “I get upset sometimes,” she says.

The couple are seen giving an address to a takeaway for food to be delivered to them and stand outside, where they wait with not enough change and beg the driver to take what they have.

Martin adds that condensation in the tent is bad, but worse is waking up in the morning not knowing what they are going to do for the day.

Thankfully, they are eventually offered a warm place together by the council but it’s unclear if they are still being housed.

Stories From The Streets continues tomorrow at 9pm Virgin Media One and is also available on the Virgin player.

If you have been affected by this article the Samaritans can be reached at freephone 116123

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