Corrie’s death sheds light on homelessness causes

BY HIGHLIGHTING the manipulation of the story of Jonathan Corrie’s death, Brenda Power has done a great service to his family, the general Public, and to some of us working in the field of homelessness in the statutory and NGO sector (“Time to set the record straight on Corrie’s life and death”; Comment, last week).

Seeing people congregate on Molesworth Street on the first anniversary of his death and apportioning blame for it was truly shocking. Dare I say Corrie was unknown to many of those gathered there?

People unfortunately die on the streets for many complex reasons, not just simply because of the lack of a bed. This we know from 40 years of work in the field, and it poses enormous challenges for all.

Power’s article should not allow us to ignore people on the streets or forget a troubled human being but should focus minds on the complexities of homelessness. May Jonathan now be allowed to rest in peace and his family allowed the privacy they are entitled to.

Alice Leahy, director of services, Alice Leahy Trust

The Showers Must Go On

Further to your report on plants to redevelop the public toilet block at Trinity College Dublin (“Beware the bar stools”, News, last week), we presented a detailed proposal for public showers to Dublin city council in 2006. This was an extremely cost-effective option at the time which could help prevent people in temporary difficulties falling into homelessness. The potential savings to the taxpayer could also be significant as they could, in the long term, become self-sustaining. Public showers, if run professionally, would also have a much wider appeal, such as for tourists. Five years on, we are more than ever convinced of the need for such a service.

Alice Leahy, Director and Co-Founder, Trust, Dublin 8