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Stranger Saves Homeless Man's Life With Cup of Hot Chocolate

James Connolly and YouTube/ Virgin Media Television
Uplifting News

Homeless Man Is On The Verge of Giving Up - But a Cup of Hot Chocolate Changes His Life

A cup of hot chocolate and a chance encounter saved his life.

Cian Murtagh builds homes for other people, but ironically, he doesn't have one of his own.

He grew up in state care and aged out at 18 years old, landing on the streets. He's lived there ever since. Now 30, he's spent the past 12 years just struggling to survive despite working a full-time job.

However not anymore. Thanks to the incredible kindness of strangers and the power of GoFundMe, he finally has a place to call home.

Living Life on the Streets of Dublin

Cian isn't what most people would consider the "typical" street person. He works a full-time job in construction, has no criminal record, and has never struggled with alcohol or drugs.

And yet despite this, he still can't afford the astronomical prices of rent in Dublin, which are in the top 4% of the most expensive in the world.

"Just work every day, save cash, realize you can't save the all goes to expenses, cost of living...I just expected more."

Cian Murtagh via Virgin Media Television

Not only is life on the streets extremely difficult, it's also dangerous. Cian's endured countless assaults, had his ribs broken, his teeth knocked out, and his life has been threatened numerous times.

He tried to escape, moving to Cork, Ireland last year in the hope of a “fresh start,” but ended up on the city streets there too.

Eventually, it took a heavy toll. Tired of the grind and feeling hopeless, Cian hit rock bottom. After spending years searching for success and stability and never finding it, he reached his breaking point, becoming suicidal.

He stopped eating and went to die alone in a secluded area of Galtee Woods, according to GoFundMe.

And that's when a chance encounter and a cup of hot chocolate saved his life.

A Chance Encounter Changes a Homeless Man's Life

Smiling blond haired woman.

Maeve O'Brien had a chance encounter with Cian Murtagh, it saved his life.

Irish Examiner

Maeve O’Brien was driving down the road near Kilbehenny when she happened upon Cian per the Irish Examiner. She offered him a ride.

“I wasn’t even thumbing when Maeve drove by, but still she picked me up,” he said. It was the first time in years a motorist had ever stopped.

They chatted, she offered him some crackers (which he refused to eat), and eventually, she dropped him off.

The following day she saw him again, only this time it was in a missing person report on social media.

Members of the Kindness Krew, a soup-run group that frequently served hot chocolate to Cian on the streets of Cork, alerted authorities after growing concerned about his whereabouts.

Maeve heard from a neighbor that he had been spotted in the woods. So, she hopped back in the car, this time with a flask of hot chocolate hoping to find Cian. With the help of a couple of locals, she did.

Initially, he refused help.

“At that point he had stopped drinking fluids,” Maeve said. “He wanted to die. I told him that he was so loved and that we could work this out. Cian wouldn’t take the hot chocolate at first. He told me that he had no future and just wanted to slip away. The third time he accepted."

He spent the next two weeks in the hospital, severely malnourished and on the verge of death.

GoFundMe Raises Over $110,000

Thanks to the generosity of strangers, Cian Murtagh is standing in the doorway of his new home.

Man standing in a doorway wearing a hoodie.

Touched by his story, members of the Kilbehenny Community Centre wanted to help. They started a GoFundMe to raise funds "to make his dream of a home come true."

Cian admits he was initially very skeptical of the GoFundMe but at the same time he "could see the kindness and niceness of all the people involved."

Kindness won. The response was overwhelming. And Cian? Is now the proud owner of his very own home.

"Hi everyone, we are absolutely thrilled to share some incredible news regarding Cian's quest for a new home. Thanks to your unwavering support and generosity, we've successfully secured a property for Cian!" the first of three updates read. "After extensive searching and negotiation, we've managed to find a home for Cian at a price of €41,000."

The remaining funds are being used for extensive renovations, including the installation of a septic tank and toilet facilities and much-needed electrical work.

As for Cian, he can't believe his dream has come true.

"I was completely shocked in a way because it seems almost like one of those cheesy American films — the protagonist has a harsh life and then it all turns around."

Cian Murtagh

It took one person to save Cian's life but it took a community to change it. Cian was homeless through no fault of his own. Despite hard work and his best efforts, the harsh reality is that it wasn't enough to get him off the streets.

Sometimes, we can't do it alone.

And that's when it's so important to have a supportive community rallying behind us. By fostering collective compassion, empathy, and solidarity within our own communities we can ensure that no one has to face life's hardships alone.

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