Andrew Hilary (35) was dealt a very poor hand in life. He was born in 1980 in Blanchardstown, which at the time, was quite a deprived part of Dublin.
Both his parents were drug users and all their friends were addicted to drugs. His home was never a safe sanctuary from the world outside like most kids count on... it was a chaotic place where drug taking was the norm, where he and his older brother were treated as though they barely existed.
Andrew and his older brother would “run wild” with other boys from similar families. Andrew was so young he can’t really remember what they used to get up to. We can only guess.
"They changed my life from what it could have been to what it is now"
Then in 1988, tragedy struck Andrew’s home. Both of his parents died at the same time after overdosing. He and his brother were left alone in the world, with no home and no family. Still reeling from the shock and confusion of losing everything, he and his older brother came to live at Don Bosco Care in Clontarf. They grew up in our care.
As Andrew recalls, it was a turning point in his life...
“It was tough at the start. I didn’t really comprehend what was happening. At that age you just go where you’re told. But I loved it at Boscos to be honest with you. I thought living in the house was great. I’ve absolutely nothing but fond memories. I think it was the staff that made it so good. They always encouraged you to talk about what you were feeling and how things were. It was my home. And they were my family.”
When violence, abuse and neglect rob young people of their childhood... we give them a home, the next best thing to a family and the chance of a future that’s second to none.