Eddie Brennan’s beard hasn’t seen a razor in over four years – but he’s about to brave the shave to raise vital funds for The Salvation Army Ireland, which helped him back on his feet
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The 54-year-old Ballyfermot native has battled depression, alcohol abuse and homelessness but found a support system and home through the church and charity’s accommodation.
Next week, he is saying goodbye to his signature beard to raise money and show his appreciation for the charity’s ongoing work.
“I’ve been with the Salvation Army for just over two years and I know it can be a thankless job for the people working in the hostels, who are dealing with everything from chronic mental illness to addiction,” said Eddie.
“It’s a very tough job.
“They’ve supported me to get me to where I am and to prepare me for my next step, which will hopefully be my own place.
“This is really just my way of showing gratitude for how much they’ve helped me.”
Eddie recently moved into the basement flat of York House on Longford Street in the capital, which is another stride towards living independently.
“They’ve worked with me to get to this point over the past two years, all at my own pace. Moving in here is a sort of taste of what life will be like on my own; to buy my own food and cook and clean and to get the feel for living on my own.”
Known around the city centre for his trademark long white beard, Eddie’s friends have joked that he may be unrecognisable after his trip to the Grafton Barber.
“I’d be known as the man with the beard around Dublin, it’s the length that people recognize.
“People are slagging me, saying that I’m going to need ID after the shave and it’s good that we can have a bit of a laugh while raising money. A lot of people can’t wait to see what I’m going to look like, myself included.
“At the end of the day, we hear a lot of doom and gloom and I wanted to do something positive, to give people a bit of hope,” he added.
Eddie will brave the shave on September 5 at noon in the Grafton Barber, located on Grafton Street. You can back his fundraising efforts here: https://bit.ly/TSABraveTheShave