A group of friends are trying to raise awareness of homelessness tonight by sleeping out in front of Ginger Janes in Newry.

Ernie Campbell along with Paddy Evans, Micheal McParland, Michael Fox and Aaron McParland are hoping that they can make people stop and think about the homeless situation in Ireland. 

Ernie Campbell sleeping rough to raise awareness of homelessness in Ireland. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Ernie Campbell sleeping rough to raise awareness of homelessness in Ireland. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

Speaking on the homeless situation Ernie Campbell said "There's ten and a half thousand people registered homeless in the south of Ireland.

"It's trying to get it out there that there are people in Newry homeless. People are complaining about being locked down in their own homes, they can't do this, they can't do that. There's ten and a half thousand people in Ireland that don't have somewhere to call home tonight. They don't know where their next meal is coming from, they don't have the basics in life

"Only for Marie Ann and the staff inside the Simon Community we would have more people lying on the streets of Newry because recently there were people lying in the bushes at Fiveways, there were tents there, there was a tent on the towpath and at St Clares."

Ernie continued "We really seen the poverty there is in Newry at Christmas with the Toy Appeal. The amount  of families who came forward looking for help and looking for food for Christmas. It was busier than it's ever been.

Ernie Campbell, Paddy Evans, Micheal McParland and Michael Fox sleeping out to raise awareness of the homeless crisis in Ireland.


"People don't realise how luck they have it in the north of Ireland. People don't have to pay for their Doctors appointment, they don't have to pay for prescriptions, they don't have to pay for Dentists. Down south you have to pay for everything.

"For some people they'd see them lying on the streets and say but they were offered accommodation! If you have an addiction on the streets, if you have a drug addiction or an alcohol dependancy on the streets, you can't just switch that off when you are given accommodation. So when you are going into that accommodation, you're going in with that addiction or whatever it may be. You have to find the money to sustain that addiction, you have to find the money to feed yourself, for electric or rent. People just can't put their foot on the first step of that ladder."

"Raising awareness is key, it's every bit as important as a donation. If we got ten people to open their eyes tonight to what we are doing and to look into what the homeless situation is ... that's what it is, That's all we are trying to do."

A friend set up a Go Fund Me page


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