Sir, – The sad deaths of two people at the Grand Canal in Dublin at the weekend focused minds again on the lives of people ending up homeless (“Grand Canal deaths: Victims named, foul play not suspected ahead of postmortem results”, News, July 8th).

There are a huge number of people working in the NGO sector and statutory bodies working hard addressing the problem of homelessness, supported by an incredible amount of funding from various sources. No one agency can claim exclusive expertise.

This is because it is a complex problem, as we highlighted in our submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage when it met to consider homelessness on January 29th, 2021. It is clear that there are no easy solutions.

This too is compounded by the fact that thankfully we live in a country where personal freedom is paramount, even if at times there can be tragic outcomes.

People, whatever their social status, do have rights and responsibilities.

This is an example of some of the issues that arise when we reflect on the death of someone labelled homeless, especially when they are known to us, as was the case in this instance.

The work of the Garda Síochána and ambulance service dealing with tragic events, such as the deaths of the two men last weekend, is all too often overlooked or taken for granted. – Yours, etc,


Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.