“He was just lying down under the bridge in his sleeping bag feeding pigeons. He looked like a Dickens character. I just thought ‘Jesus this guy looks really interesting,’ so I parked the car and went back to ask if he would mind me taking his photograph. He didn’t answer, just nodded his head. I took a few shots and I tried talking to him but he ignored all my questions. When I went back to the studio and put the photos up on screen, there was one photograph I really liked. I just couldn’t get the image out of my head. So the next day I made a point of going back to the bridge. I said ‘Hello, how are you today?’ He replied ‘Excellent, thank you!’ in a very well spoken, almost aristocratic tone. From that moment on I was hooked. I sat down with him and we talked for about half an hour. He gets no money from the government and he doesn’t beg. He doesn’t see himself as a homeless person. His home is the bridge. He’s unique, you know? Ever since that day we’re kinda mates, whenever I have some free time I go down to visit him. I bring some food or even take him out for the day. We’ve been to many places that interest him and even as far as Belfast. Some days he doesn’t say a lot, other days he says a little. I know him over two years now and I still don’t know his full story. I once asked him if he has a drink or drug problem and he amusingly replied ‘I should have, but I don’t.’ Many of us have a bucket list of places we’d like to visit, many of them in exotic locations around the globe. Martin’s list is far more humble. Last week I drove to the bridge and arrived to find him packing his stuff away for the day. He told me he was off to the library for the afternoon to catch up on some reading. I asked him if he’d like to go for a drive and he said yes before I could finish the sentence. He had always been curious about the Hellfire Club in the Dublin Mountains. At one point as we stood at the top of the hillside, I asked him if he’d ever consider living anywhere else other than under the bridge. ‘I think I’d like it here,’ he replied with a grin.”


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