Sir, – Thank you for publishing the two excellent articles, sad yet positive at the same time, from different continents but which so easily could be from our own island (from Lara Marlowe in the US and Mark Hennessy in London, December 1st). Both somehow captured what we experience in Trust on a daily basis working with people who are homeless.

The life and death of Dubliner John Ryan, once again highlighted the importance of respecting one’s right to privacy. Here the rush to collect, store and share personal data on people labelled homeless seeking a service is a huge ongoing concern and an issue we have raised with the Data Protection Commissioner. John’s wishes were respected right up to the end when he even planned his own funeral – may he rest in peace.

The police officer in the US who gave a pair of boots and socks to a homeless man made international news. It was not the act alone, but the fact that it was an international news story that was encouraging. At a time in our country when we are in danger of drowning in pain, misery, negativity, more experts, more bureaucracy and red tape coming at us from all angles, good news stories showing what is possible at times are rare, but urgently needed to bring some balance and encouragement to the national conversation. – Yours, etc,

Director & Co-Founder,
Bride Road,
Dublin 8.