Regarding the Brenda Power article headlined, ‘So who will dare back him?’ (Mail yesterday) – we [Alice Leahy Trust] have been working with people labelled homeless in our capital city for over 40 years.
We regularly say that we should not be here looking at the amount of money that has been spent over the years in the field of homelessness. Councillor Mannix Flynn is a man who has a huge experience of poverty and, more importantly, he has the courage to say it as it is with honesty. He has been doing this in relative isolation far too long. Too many people, including some public representatives, say privately they agree with him but haven’t the courage of their convictions to speak out. ‘The reality is that there is almost no tolerance of any alternative voice on the issue of begging and rough sleeping in the capital of our country. If you are to suggest that the epidemic of begging might perhaps not all be the fault of society then you are labelled a bigot and a fascist’ – how true those words from Brenda Power are.
We can only make some progress in dealing with these issues if we are confident enough to say it as it is and mature enough to listen to the alternative voices.

director of services,
Alice Leahy Trust, Dublin 8