Beggar back on his feet after job offer from stranger

A man begging on the street in Cork city was so desperate he tried to break into the collection box of a candle shrine in a church — but, thanks to the kindness of strangers, his life may be about to change, writes Liam Heylin of the Irish Examiner.

Christopher Jones, 24, had been getting into difficulty with gardaí for repeatedly begging on the streets to pay for his heroin addiction.

He was facing sentencing yesterday for criminal damage to the coin box at Farranree church on March 21.

However, a stranger he met on the street gave him his first job and Jones is now due to get his first pay packet on December 22. He is also starting a methadone treatment programme.

Jones asked if he could tell Judge Olann Kelleher about the breakthrough.

File photo.

“This man comes up and says: ‘I will give you better than money, I will give you a job.’ It was just a fella on the street, you wouldn’t believe how generous people are on the street. He has his own business and gave me a job.”

The judge asked him if he likes the job at the car valet business, and Jones said: “I love it. I love cars.”

Judge Kelleher replied: “That’s a great story.”

Solicitor Eddie Burke said: “To be fair to the man, he is doing well, he has come a long way.”

Jones, who is also back living in the family home, said: “It is going good at the moment.”

The judge said there had to be a penalty, and fined Jones €100. He then said to Jones: “Best of luck. Have a good Christmas.”

Jones replied: “Thanks. Same to you.”

This story first appeared in today's

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