Down and Out in Dublin


About this Item

A look at life for those who are living in the back streets and hostels of Dublin in 1964.

  • Title
    Down and Out in Dublin
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Joseph Dunn (Presenter)
    William Fitzgerald (Production Team)
    Desmond Forristal (Production Team)
    Peter Lemass (Production Team)
    Con'O'Keefe (Production Team)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
  • Clip title
    Down and Out in Dublin
  • Extended description

    "They exist rather than live, sheltered by state and religious institutions, fed by charitable organisations, avoided by their fellow citizens, studied by sociologists, moved by policemen, jeered at by children in the street. They lead the most public and the most private of lives. Everyone knows them to see, but scarcely anyone knows them to talk to or understand just how or why they drifted into their present hopelessness."

    Reporter Father Peter Lemass hears the stories of men who find themselves out of work and out of home. The men describe how they spend the day and the places they rely on for food and shelter.  

    The Little Flower Centre on Meath Street, Dublin provides meals for a nominal fee.

    Some of the men describe how convents and presbyteries can be sources of cash. The Iveagh Hostel is seen as being one of the best in the city but it is also one of the most expensive places to get a bed for the night.

    At a former workhouse in North Brunswick Street, the Legion of Mary run the North Star Hostel for a small charge. Men can get an evening meal, a night's lodging and breakfast. At the hostel in Back Lane there is no charge for a bed but you can only stay for fourteen nights. A number of the men describe how they sleep in the Phoenix Park.

    A member of St Vincent de Paul who run the Back Lane hostel talks about the problems for homeless people in Dublin. Despite the charitable work of religious orders running the hostels and food kitchens some of the men talk about having little or no religious belief.

    Helen Burke of the Sociology Department at UCD talks about what can be done for those who are living rough now and how can society help young people from ending up homeless and out of work. 

  • Information

    This episode of Radharc was the first in the 1964-1965 series.

    'Radharc', a series specialising in religious programming, was produced for RTÉ by Radharc, an independent production company run by Catholic priests and lay staff. 'Radharc' can be translated to English as 'view' or 'panorama'.

    Co-founders Fr Joe Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal who had received training in television production in New York in 1959 gathered around them a team of like minded priests with creative talent.

    The 'Radharc' team made their first production in 1960 in Donegal, a short film about customs relating to St Brigid's Day. The first programme in the 'Radharc' series for RTÉ was broadcast on 12 January 1962.

    Between 1961 and 1996 the Radharc team would produce over 400 films in Ireland and 75 countries worldwide. The films dealt with human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.

    The popular series ended production in 1996 after the death of Fr Joe Dunn.

  • Local keywords
    Religion, Alcohol, Alcoholism, Homless, Homelessness, Hostels, Radharc, Joseph Dunn, Catholic Church, St. Vincent de Paul, Legion of Mary, UCD, Helen Burke, University College Dublin, Society, Iveagh Hostel, Morning Star Hostel, Little Flower Centre, Charity
  • Geographical coverage
    Dublin, Ireland
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    Telefís Éireann
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item colour
    Black and White
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)