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12.36 30 Nov 2017


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Updated 14:00

A Dublin tattoo parlour is aiming to make its mark on the city's homelessness and drug abuse issues this Christmas.

Dublin Ink is offering a special 'LifeLine' tattoo to customers - with "every last Euro" going to Merchants Quay Ireland.

The studio said the tattoo is an "international symbol of compassion and humanity" and signifies support for the city's most vulnerable people.

It is being offered to customers for a 'minimum price' of €40 on the day - with all proceeds going to the charity.

In a post online, the studio urged the public to get involved, get tattooed or simply donate to the cause.

Cold streets

This morning, Dublin Ink manager Danielle Robinson said the recent homeless deaths in Dublin have highlighted the need for greater supports:

Dublin tattoo parlour aims to make its mark on homelessness

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

"Homelessness seems to come a light around Christmas time when it starts getting a lot colder," she said.

"There was a man only recently died in Ranelagh last week.

"It is a prime topic in Ireland at the moment, so we wanted to see if we could help out a little bit."

Ms Robinson said the LifeLine symbol, "represents humanity" adding that "a heartbeat is something that belongs to all of us."

"The main thing is trying to help people who've been pushed out by society," she said.

"We are all human, we all have a heartbeat and we should all be helping each other out."

She said there will be up to seven artists at the studio on the day and they will be tattooing customers on a first-come-first-served basis.

Sprinkler deterrent

The studio found itself at the centre of an online controversy this time last year when it was accused of installing sprinklers to discourage homeless people from sleeping outside its premises.

Responding to the claims, Dublin Ink said the system was intended to act as a deterrent "for people using our property for drug use or antisocial behaviour."

In a statement, it said the system was designed to release a small amount of water as a deterrent and "was not intended to wet homeless people while they were sleeping or to cause any harm."

"Every morning, our staff members clean blood smears, used condoms, syringes, and other bodily fluids such as faeces off the premises," it said, adding that the sprinklers were an attempt to "ensure the safety of not only ourselves but our clientele."

LifeLine tattoo

Announcing the partnership with Merchants Quay Ireland, the studio said: "Over the years we have seen the consequence of drug use in our city, and by circumstance have been effected ourselves, like much of our population."

"Now, it's our chance to give something back to those who dedicate their lives to try to change the growing issue in Ireland - and make lives a little easier for those who society has pushed out."

The event runs between 11am and 6pm on December 22nd, with an evening of celebratory drinks and music to follow.

Ms Robinson said there will be up to seven artists at the studio on the day and they will be tattooing customers on a first-come-first-served basis.

With reporting from Niall Colbert ...


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