Public inconvenience | Irish Times 22nd September

Sir, – Peter Cluskey, reporting on a court case in Amsterdam that sparked a national row about urinating in public, notes claims made in court that the city had fewer public toilets for women than any other European capital (“To pee or not to pee? Amsterdam court case sparks national row”, September 20th). This made me scratch my head. I wondered had they ever visited Dublin, a European capital city where there are no public toilets for women or men? You wouldn’t want to get “taken short” here. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.

Liffey boardwalk and anti-social behaviour – Irish Times 22 August

Sir, – Rosita Boland’s article and your editorial of August 21st clearly point out the difficulties being experienced by tourists in the city because of anti-social behaviour.

There is no doubt that excessive alcohol and drug consumption can lead to anti-social behaviour and this is clearly evident, especially to those working in the field of homelessness. There is, however, a sense that turning a blind eye to this type of behaviour or moving people on will solve the problem.

Everyone, not just tourists, are entitled to walk the streets free of intimidation or having to witness the appalling behaviour of some people. There is no doubt that policing is required but this alone will not deal with the problem. All of us in society have a role to play, and people need to know that as well as having rights they do too have responsibilities. This, however, can prove very challenging when dealing with people who may have enormous personal problems, often exacerbated by alcohol and other drugs. We need to cherish young people and ensure they are given the example and support they deserve at an early age, this to ensure they don’t see anti-social behaviour as glamorous and the norm. It is important that we deal with this problem with the seriousness it deserves, and deal with it now rather than putting it on the “long finger”. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,
Director of Services,
Alice Leahy Trust,
Bride Road,
Dublin 8.

Time to stop moaning?

Sir, – Thank you for ensuring Kathy Sheridan’s timely words of wisdom were on the front page of your newspaper – “Relentless negativity kills the little shoots of optimism that gets us out of bed every day” (Opinion & Analysis, September 2nd).
May I be bold enough to suggest your newspaper might consider printing postcards with the above as a “thought for the day” to be circulated to every citizen of this great little country. I am sure sponsorship could be arranged! Her words are better than any tonic. – Yours, etc,
ALICE LEAHY
Director and Co-Founder,
Trust ,
Bride Road,
Dublin 8.

Vulnerable citizens and advocacy

Sir, – The letter by Mares Hickey (June 6th) not only highlights her dealings with bureaucracy but has echoed the frustrations of many others and should be studied by those in a position of responsibility. It is truly shocking that advocates are required to ensure that people get what they rightfully deserve.
Elderly and vulnerable people, many of whom worked hard to build up this State and fought for the rights of others, find themselves now in a situation of dependency.
Technology plays a key role in the delivery of today’s services right across the board. However there is a downside to this because all too often we hear how it is the “computer’s fault” when things go wrong and files go missing.
Bureaucracy has gone mad at all levels, not forgetting the frustration of wasting time pressing buttons on a phone, never getting to speak to an actual person. This is not helped by totally unsoothing music at the other end while being assured that our patience is greatly appreciated.
Services for the public, particularly the elderly and vulnerable people and their carers should be friendly, easily accessible and certainly less complicated.
People who strive to listen to others in the delivery of services are all too often accused of “wasting time with people”. – Yours, etc,
ALICE LEAHY,
Director,
Trust,
Bride Road,
Dublin 8.