People coming around to inject heroin or set the place on fire, still, that was the place we called home

“There were lots of us. About thirty teenagers, all friends! We used to meet up at that abandoned building up at Church Street, the one with the lost of empty flats right across the road from the Garda station. None of us had anywhere to call home. I used to carry a back-pack wherever I went, to go into shops to steal food. I would also fill my bag with all sorts of sweets, always thinking about what each of the guys liked. Even though there were so many apartments we always slept in the same room, all together, and we felt safe there! We would put the smokes and the drugs aside and sat together to eat, everybody was laughing and talking to each other. We cleared up the place and kept it clean. We used to fix each others sleeping bags and blankets and pillows. Even though we had to deal with older people coming around to inject heroin or set the place on fire, still, that was the place we called home. I had a disposable camera I would carry everywhere with me, I wanted to save those great times for the harder days but I never had money to develop the films. I wish I had those photos… Most of the guys are dead now or in prison, but it makes me smile every time I think of those times”