by Emma Nolan
0 comment

A SELFLESS Dubliner has gone viral after photos of him cooking mouth-watering curries for the homeless were shared online.
Retired Ballyfermot man Brian Birkett (65) is being hailed as an “inspiration” for his dedication to making up to SIXTY hot meals for Dublin’s homeless every Monday night on Dame St.
He joked: “I hear Conor McGregor’s getting a bit upset about all the publicity I’m getting!”
Brian told The Gazette he’s been “inundated” with calls since the photo went viral, but he’s just happy that the homeless crisis is being addressed.
“It needs to be highlighted as much as possible,” said Brian, who volunteers with homeless charity A Lending Hand.
“I’m delighted [with the publicity] and I couldn’t sing A Lending Hand’s praises enough.”
The charity – set up by Coolock woman Keira Gill – is dedicated to providing food and other essentials to homeless people, and Brian’s become well-known for the delicious curries he’s been making for the past year and a half.
“They don’t last 10 minutes!” Keira said of the 4-in-1s which contain chips, rice, chicken and curry sauce. “They know he’s coming and everyone asks, ‘Where’s Brian with the curries?’”
On Facebook last Monday, A Lending Hand posted a photo of Brian preparing his curries, adding that he needed a lift from Ballyfermot to Dame St. Within hours, the post had gone viral and he was inundated with offers to help.
However, Keira and Brian said support for A Lending Hand has dwindled in recent months and donations of food had slowed, leaving volunteers footing the bill all on their own.
Brian explained: “People used to call to my house with chicken fillets; one woman used to give me a sack of rice every two months and we were ticking over – but it seems like people thought the homeless crisis was sorted after Apollo House. But it’s still snowballing.”
When Brian first volunteered he made sandwiches, but decided to start making hot meals once he realised the scale of the problem.
“I was years working in an Indian restaurant where a Pakistani chef thought me how to make curries and I helped him learn English so my talents came in handy when I decided to have a go at making the curries,” he said. “Each one of those little tubs is a meal in itself.”
“He’s a legend,” added Keira. “He’s famous, I said I’m going to have to ask him for his autograph now!
“He’s a brilliant person.”

Related Articles