Sir, – Padraig O’Morain reminds your readers of Mareese, who lived happily in a cardboard box not far from the Dáil (“Want to escape the rat race? The reality of dropping out is less attractive than the dream”, July 18th).

She was allowed to “drop out” under the watchful eye of concerned passers-by.

Today, from what we see on a daily basis, she could now be ignored, or worse still be forced to conform to a life of form-filling and box-ticking designed by well-meaning people working to a plan. When Padraig O’Morain stated in his then article that “her meagre payment was to be cut on the grounds that she lived in a cardboard box and didn’t have the same expenses as those who lived in rented accommodation”, I got a phone call from an irate senior female official in the then Eastern Health Board to know if I was paid by The Irish Times to give information to a reporter. – Yours, etc,


Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Bride Road,

Dublin 8.