A CARLOW man living rough on the streets of Dublin is said to be ‘delighted’ having beaten off stiff competition from 8,300 people to be named the RTÉ Homeless Of The Year, WWN can report.
Martin Harklin, 38, wowed the judges with his airy, off-Grafton Street location that he maintains in spotless condition, as well as his take-each-day-as-it-comes mentality, and lack of any serious drug or alcohol problems that would frighten or stress out passers-by.
“We were looking for someone who was homeless but who managed to capture the jovial, devil-may-care spirits of the nomadic people from stories of old, rather than the upsetting, ‘poster for a homeless charity’ looking person, if you follow us” said Rupert Cunningham, one of the judges of the 8-week competition which saw thousands of people enter looking for some sort of recognition from the rest of the country.
“When you see Martin on the street, it’s almost like he’s not there; there’s no drinking, he’s rarely asleep during daytime, and he keeps his appearance as tidy as he can. Why, he almost looks like he could actually have a job, and be a normal person. Except he’s sitting down on a doorstep. A south-facing doorstep, mind you”.
Harklin, who did not qualify for the competition last year as he was living in a house in his native Carlow with a loving family and a steady income, was not permitted to appear on screen to discuss how he came to be on the streets, as that was deemed to be ‘a bit of a downer’.
“Just know that he’s doing fine” said the judges, awarding him the Golden Doorstep for 2021.
“He’s not in anybody’s way, he’s fit and healthy for now so he’s not going to be adding any further embarrassment to the government any time soon, he knows to stay away from the constituency offices of any sitting TDs, he’s a model homeless person; utterly ignorable, with enough mystery as to how he came to be in Dublin to allow you to say ‘it’s his own fault’ and walk on about your day”.
Meanwhile the previous year’s winner failed to make the customary appearance at the award presentation, due to the severity of last winter.