There are t least four categories of homeless or beggars in Dublin from my experience several times here.
The first are the "professional beggars" who are not Irish, mostly Romanian and work in gangs. I have seen this the four times I have visited Dublin. These people work the areas around churches and posh stores, and after a while, one realizes that these are the same people moving about. Dubliners have told me these are gangs who beg. Frequently, the women wear old-fashioned Romanian dress. One professional beggar I have seen here through the years has deformities which come from someone breaking his hands on purpose when he was a baby.
The second group are the drug-addicts and alcoholics, I do not give them money, but if I can, I buy them food. I have not seen any out in the past two weeks. Most of these people are Irish. One can tell they are ill.
The third category are those who are either mentally ill or oppressed or even possessed of demons. Some of these people beg and then, during Mass, come in and yell at the congregation or worse, yell at the Body and Blood of Christ on the altar. I wish the bishops here believed in possession, as some of these people would be freed.
The fourth group are those who have fallen through the cracks. They have had hard times for some reason. Some are ill because they have been on the streets and have fungus or skin diseases. These Irish people break my heart, as many are young men, who have sad stories.
Some will take food, or a sweater, or a blanket, or umbrella, if it is raining.
Some get angry if one gives them clothes, as one woman became when I gave her new clothes. She only wanted money.
Some accept food and clothes.
To be homeless or a beggar or both in the winter in Dublin is a terrible thing, and a sign that socialism does not work.
Christianity, if it is practiced, works.
I talk to some of the homeless and learn their names when I can. They are human beings and need dignity.
I wonder if there are homeless and beggars in the countryside? I did not see any when I was in the countryside of Meath in 2012.