Actor Colin Farrell has called on the government to take drastic measures to solve Ireland's homelessness crisis.
In an interview on Ireland's RTE Radio One station on Tuesday (20Dec16) Colin, 40, who lives in the U.S. and is a patron of a Dublin, Ireland soccer league helping those without shelter, compared the plight of the homeless to refugees.
"I know I'm over in America and life is grand for me but it doesn't mean that I don't give a s**t about what's going on," he said. "I'm not going to start lecturing the people of Ireland but it's time the politicians...the population of our country is aghast at what's going on.
"What is a refugee? Someone who has to move from place to place without a home to find some sense of existence or some sense of peace. They're basically refugees in their own land. It's shocking. There's no structure around it."
Figures from staff at the Dublin Region Homeless Executive found that the number of homeless in Ireland's capital last month (Nov16) had increased by 40 percent from April (16).
A United Nations report published in February (16) said officials were "deeply concerned" at reports of Irish families without satisfactory permanent accommodation.
The Lobster star accompanied Ireland's team to the 2015 Homeless World Cup, where he bonded with team members with tales of his own recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
In his radio interview, Colin suggested that one of his old haunts, Dublin's Ormond Hotel, should be used to house the homeless as it has remained empty since 2005.
"I used to pop pills back in the Ormond back in the day," he added. "Having a good aul (old) rave at the weekend. What a piece of property! It's boarded up. It's redundant. It's useless. It's dead space. What do you do? You fill it with life. Fill it with social reparation. You give people the opportunity to get their lives back in order."
Colin's hopes are unlikely to be realized however, as in September (16) Dublin City Council planning officials gave the go ahead to a controversial $20.7 million redevelopment of the historic hotel.