After Donnie Brown, a Chicago man visiting Ireland, was mugged at knifepoint in Dublin over the weekend, he was dismayed that he would have to cut his trip to Ireland short. He had been scheduled to leave on May 21, but didn’t see how it would be possible for him to stay without any of his cash, credit cards or phone.

Now, thanks to a whole bunch of spectacularly sound Irish people, he doesn’t have to.

Donnie called in to the RTE radio program "Liveline" yesterday to share his story. As soon as he did, the phone lines lit up with offers from around Ireland to host him, take him sightseeing and even loan him a car – hopefully restoring his faith in the Irish people after his traumatic mugging.

As Donnie explained, he had left his hostel to get a bite to eat on or about 11:30pm on Sunday night and was walking back along the quays on the north side of the Liffey, near Bachelor’s Walk, when he got a bit turned around.

“I have an awful sense of direction,” he said. “I get lost in my own apartment, so I stopped and asked this girl where the hostel was and if she could direct me there.”

She told Donnie that she would walk him there, so he set off with her and two men she had been with. It was when they got to the corner that Donnie realized he was in trouble.

“They said ‘give me all your money’ and the guy behind me, I could see out of the corner of my eye, had a knife,” he recalled.

He handed over his wallet, but when they saw there was only €20 in it, they allegedly began punching him in the face, grabbed him in a chokehold and told him he’d better give them something more, so he also gave them his iPhone.

After they ran away, Donnie asked a number of passers-by to call the police, but said they largely ignored him. He eventually found a shop that was still open, and one of the workers ushered him in and called the police. He said that the Gardaí who came to help were excellent.

Donnie went to hospital the following day and found that he had sustained a range of injuries and a concussion.

Not wanting to stay in the hostel near where he was mugged, he went back to the place where he had initially stayed when he arrived in Dublin, a hostel near Heuston Station run by a man named Mark Mulvey, who has been letting him stay there for free.

Pictured: The US tourist who was beaten and mugged after asking woman for… https://t.co/tbecvtpo62#Irish #News pic.twitter.com/6FbnbPlKOc

— Newsrout (@Newsrout) May 11, 2016
It was Mulvey who contacted "Liveline" to see if they would be interested in Donnie’s story.

“He told me what happened and I was infuriated. This shouldn’t happen in our city,” Mulvey said.

Donnie went on to say that he had been planning on traveling to Cork, where his mother was born, but that he would have to cut his trip short since he had no cards and no form of ID with which to pick up a wire transfer.

Then the calls started.

Adrian from Cork said he’d been driving while listening to Donnie and had to call in. “It’s a shocking story and it’s not the impression we’d like to give off around the world,” he said. He then offered for Donnie to come stay with him in Ballycotton, Co. Cork, saying that he’d pick him up at the station and show him around the area.

Then a woman named Dee, who lives on the banks of the River Shannon in Co. Roscommon called to say he’d be welcome to spend a few days at her house and go sailing with her daughter and her fiancé.

Adrian, who was still on the line, then offered to drive him there from his place! {It's a tough drive of 160 miles or so.}

Sophie, a woman from Cork City, also invited him to stay with her family, adding that when she was younger she had been mugged in New York and was incredibly grateful for the help she had received from people there.

After that, the offers kept coming in: from Connemara, Mayo and even Liverpool; invitations for tours of the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle; even an offer of a car.

Almost all the callers talked about how important it was to them to defend their national reputation after Donnie’s encounter.

Donnie said he was “overwhelmed” by the generosity, and had an invitation of his own:

“I want to say to everybody that’s been so kind with these offers, if you ever come to Chicago, mi casa es su casa.”

Happy travels, Donnie!

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