Street begging in Dublin

Published: 24 October 1913

Interviewed by The Irish Times, an Inspector whose job it is to enforce the Children’s Act, has stated that street begging by children is an endemic problem. He said ‘the life of the streets appeals instinctively to Dublin children. They love the freedom, the camaraderie, the adventure and the sporting chances of it. Beggary to them is soon divested of its shame; they become fluent, quick witted experts. The softly sobbing youngster who has lost his two pence, and is afraid to go home, makes his bag every night.’

The Inspector argues that while many children were driven to begging by family circumstance, the vast majority of them were out on the street through their own choice. He stated that some children who have been depicted begging in newsreels and in newspapers, as evidence of the harsh conditions caused by the lockout, he knows have working parents and come from homes well able to support them. 

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.