A leading homeless charity has hit out at the treatment of rough sleepers after a video emerged of a garda squad car beeping its horn to move them on from a Dublin street.
The garda car drove down Dublin's Henry Street waking homeless people yesterday morning.
Video footage shows the garda car's horn being blown a number of times and the bonnet of the vehicle pointed in the direction of two homeless people sleeping outside shop fronts on the northside street.
The people, who are pictured lying out on one of the city's busiest shopping streets, are woken after a few seconds.
When it becomes apparent that they are sitting up, the garda car drives away in the direction of O'Connell Street.
The footage was filmed outside upmarket department store Arnotts, where two people were sleeping in blue sleeping bags.
The incident came a day after a large-scale homelessness demonstration in the capital, with Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) director Anthony Flynn saying homeless people need to be treated with more dignity.
Mr Flynn said he believed there was an agreement that if gardai were to move rough sleepers on in the morning, they were to approach them and direct them to services for breakfast and other help.
It is common for rough sleepers to be moved on in the morning, in order for stores on streets to prepare to open for business.
"It's not acceptable, there's a better way to go about waking people," Mr Flynn said.
"Why couldn't the guard have got out of his car and approached the person in a humane manner?
"We need to ask the question of why they were doing it."
He believes that this is not an isolated incident, despite holding meetings with a number of homeless organisations, sat in on by gardai, every two months.
"This happens often, but it just so happens that someone was there to get it on a phone," Mr Flynn said.
Gardai were approached for comment but none was made available at the time of going to print.