Alice Leahy, Director of TRUST rejecting proposals that people found begging should be moved on as a matter of public policy from Dublin’s streets

“People should be allowed to give to those in obvious pain and discomfort”

Alice Leahy Director and Co-Founder of TRUST said today (Thursday, October 30, 2003) rejecting calls that those found begging on the streets of Dublin should be forcibly moved on.

“We also fundamentally disagree with anyone suggesting that the public should be told to give to agencies in preference to those they meet on the side of the road if they are in obvious need or distress.”

“Moving people on is only relocating the problem. We need more basic services and greater understanding of the needs of those forced to beg. It is obvious that many forced to sit in the cold and damp must feel totally marginalised and excluded by society. Forcing them on is only further adding to their sense of isolation and exclusion.” Alice Leahy said.

Alice went on:

“This is in some ways a completely hypocritical proposal. What about the aggressive behaviour of people with collection boxes. Will they be moved on?”

However, to underline the complexity of the problem Alice Leahy pointed out that all people who become homeless do not beg and all people who beg are not homeless.