Leahy deserves recognition for her tireless devotion

When official Ireland refers to women who have made real contributions to Dublin life, the heroic Alice Leahy is rarely mentioned.

Alice Leahy has worked tirelessly with the homeless since the early 1970s. She has also contributed to many reports and official bodies dealing with everything from crime to mental illness. Let’s honour this great woman now. Perhaps by building something practical like public wash-rooms for the homeless that are safe and monitored?

Karl Martin

Bayside, Dublin 13

Public showers in Dublin

Urgently needed

Sir, – Through your paper we have been highlighting the need for public showers in our capital city for years.

In 2006 we made a submission to the then lord mayor Vincent Jackson and all city councillors and recirculated it again in 2014.

Public showers are urgently required with clear notices to say where they are available. On occasion we have been contacted by people who are not homeless inquiring about showering facilities. We are now getting enquiries from foreign students who have travelled over to Ireland to study the English language and unfortunately find themselves homeless due to lack of accommodation; one student who made contact with us this week is sleeping in a car and requires a shower.

Surely we can do better in a European capital city.

– Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.

Noël Browne’s legacy

Against the tide

Sir, – Thanks to Arthur Beesley for remembering Noël Browne in his An Irishman’s Diary of May 30th.

He gave me an opportunity to reflect again on the courage and commitment of Dr Noël Browne, who died 25 years ago.

No doubt his family background, recovery from TB, his experience of dealing with officialdom, and the wonderful family who helped him made him the man he was.

He had the courage and strength to challenge the powers that be and, much more importantly, encouraged and inspired a few others to do likewise.

Remembering walking through the streets of Dublin in all weathers, to take people who were living on the streets or in basic shelters in the 1970s, to one of the two TB clinics wasn’t easy. Neither was it easy contacting their relatives, and more importantly dealing with the stigma of TB. That stigma remains painful today in many families.

I still remember at that time sitting with colleagues in Simon in the open air in the then Northumberland Square listening to him as we shared ideas.

We all left inspired and full of enthusiasm to care for our fellow human beings, pose questions and not be afraid to do so.

Yes, no street in the capital bears his name. He never received the freedom of the city of Dublin.

But he did get the admiration of a younger generation of that time, even if he was seen by many as being difficult to deal with.

Today, half a century later, that remains how one is seen if one poses awkward questions.

What would he think of how our country is dealing with people at this ever-challenging time, particularly elderly people, and people with disabilities.

The list is endless.

The use of corporate-speak so often used now to avoid looking at the real pain of living for many people is everywhere.

I guess he would go “Against the Tide” with vigour.

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust ,

Dublin 8 .

Working from home and public services

Sir, – “Remote workers cite work-life satisfaction” (News, April 27th) makes interesting reading. There is no doubt but that a happy workforce leads to general satisfaction all-round.

However, questions need to be asked about the satisfaction of those needing to avail of services, especially public services, at this challenging time for all. To be informed that someone working from home cannot redirect you to the appropriate section because of “home working”, or that you must send an email that may take some time to acknowledge due to working arrangements, is not what one should expect. The voicemails alone can be frustrating and distressing to those needing a service.

If this situation is likely to continue, it is important that “home workers”, especially in the area of public services, have all the facilities available to them to ensure “customer satisfaction”. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.

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