Christmas and the loneliness of a homeless man living in a makeshift shelter in the Dublin Mountains.

While Christmas is a time for family, for many it can be a time of loneliness and isolation. One homeless man, estranged from his family will be spending his fourth Christmas living rough in the Dublin Mountains. The 53 year old, who calls himself ‘Homeless Henry’, says he feels safer living in his heavily camouflaged campsite than on the streets of the capital.

I used to live on the streets of Dublin but there was too much trouble.

Henry saw his friends on the streets dying of hypothermia and alcohol poisoning and took the decision to leave the city and live alone in the Dublin Mountains.

Initially, he lived in a tent, but when he heard of a shed being dumped he asked if he could have it to live in. Henry would like his own home but realises this is unlikely as landlords look for someone with a job who has references and bank records

Who’s going to give me a chance? Who’s going to offer me somewhere to get meself back into society?

Henry spends any spare change he has on the Lottery. He dreams about buying a house and setting up a business and a trust fund for his children.

He finds Christmas a lonely period. On Christmas Day his friend brings him a dinner, he watches television, listens to music and gets sentimental about sharing Christmas with his family.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 December 2008. The reporter is Philip Bromwell.

Homeless Henry