Man who lived in toilet goes back on alcohol

Polish man Piotr Baram is back drinking on the streets of Ennis after remaining sober for more than 100 days.

Man who lived in toilet goes back on alcohol

Last April, the plight of Mr Baram and the late Josef Pavelka received national attention after Judge Patrick Durcan described the two living in public toilets in Ennis as a “scandal”.

Less than five weeks after Judge Durcan made his comment, Mr Pavelka’s body was found in an Ennis laneway on a Saturday night in May.

Mr Baram declared at the time that he did not want to suffer the same fate as his friend and, within days, he was admitted into a 12- week residential programme at Cuan Mhuire Bruree in Co Limerick.

Yesterday, sitting beside a shop front on Ennis’s O’Connell St, Mr Baram said he had remained off alcohol for 15 weeks, or 105 days.

He said he left Bruree after nine weeks of the 12 week programme to go to Blarney, where he remained sober for another six weeks.

Piotr said he left the treatment centre at Bruree because “it’s too hard. I like to be free and to come and go, but in Bruree you can’t go out and it was like a prison to me.

“In Blarney, I started to think a little bit about drink and I bought a nagin of vodka.”

The 36-year old said that he is now drinking every day, consuming two bottles of vodka last Sunday.

He said: “Yes, I’m disappointed to be drinking again. If I don’t drink something in the morning, I will be all shakes and start having a panic attack. When I drink after a half-hour, it is okay — the vodka goes inside my system and I have peace and quiet, so it is not easy.

“I always think about the drink. I like to drink now, I think right now about having one can of beer because I feel sick.”

Back in Ennis, Piotr — who missed Josef’s funeral as he had just been admitted to Bruree — said he bears some responsibility for Josef’s death.

“To tell you the truth, I feel a little bit of responsibility for him dying,” he said.

“After Josef had his operation on his appendix in Galway I drank with him too much — vodka, whiskey, brandy — and I organised the alcohol.”

Piotr, who confirmed he still receives help from priests in Ennis, now splits his time between Ennis, where he mostly stays with friends, and Cork.

He is now in receipt of social welfare payments of €188 per week. Asked if he plans to return to Poland, he said: “No. I don’t have a passport, but even if I had one, nobody in Poland will give me €188 per week. When I [go] back to Poland, I might get €100 a month.”

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