This is from his latest Irish Independent column (he opens by describing a friend who gave five euro to a Traveller beggar, who then asked for more):
"Although it doesn't beat my best beggar experience – while sitting outside a sidewalk bar in Santa Monica Boulevard a couple of years back, a homeless guy approached and asked for a couple of bucks.
I told him I had no change but I had an unopened bottle of beer on my table (jet lag had kicked and I had about 20 minutes before I fell asleep) and I offered him the bottle of Dos Equis, which to my mind is the finest lager in the world.
"F**k you man. I don't drink!" And then he stormed off in a huff."
Well, you deserved it, Mr. O'Doherty. Offering alcohol to a homeless person is pretty insolent, maybe even downright disgusting.
This is the same fellow who volunteered with the Saint Vincent de Paul for one night and was offended to see poor people who weren't living in shacks and who had comforts like televisions.
"But when you go into a house to give someone an envelope of cash and you see that they have a bigger wide-screen telly than you yourself own, then you realise that there is no way you can equate these people with genuine, actual poverty."
His particularly simplistic brand of atheism (he makes lots of amusing and original remarks about the Sky Fairy) and free market libertarianism is, I believe, the wave of the future. At least of the immediate future. It's simply the logical progression from the current orthodoxy. Left liberalism is an unstable fusion that can't last for very long.
On the vast amount of occasions when I have given money to beggars, they have been extremely thankful. There were some exceptions, but not many.
I think people like Ian O'Doherty see what they want and expect to see.