Picture shows Alice with from left/right John Tierney, Dublin City Manager at a launch reception attended by over 400 guests in Dublin City Hall, Dame Street.
RTE’s Pat Kenny launches ‘Wasting Time with People?’ Edited & Compiled by Alice Leahy, Director & Co-Founder of TRUST in City Hall, Dame Street
Alice Leahy calls for a complete rethink about the way in which society is organised “to make more time for people, more time to be with our families, and more caring time for everyone who comes into contact with State services with less pressure on people to appear successful. The evidence of the need for urgent action, if any was needed, was provided again so tragically in recent days.”
‘Wasting Time with People?’ a new book launched in City Hall today, aims to promote a new kind of Ireland. Speaking at the launch Alice Leahy, the Director and Co-Founder of TRUST, who edited and compiled the book, said that “working in the front line with people who become homeless on the street it is all too easy to appreciate the importance of giving time to others. If we really want to make Ireland a much more inclusive society and ensure everyone feels wanted we must make more time for people, more time for family life, more caring time for people who come into contact with State services at all levels. The evidence of the need for urgent action, if any was needed, was provided again so tragically in recent days.”
‘Wasting Time with People?’ is published by Gill & Macmillan and features contributions from over seventy people from well known figures in Irish society to people who are homeless. Contributors include Robert Ballagh, Maeve Binchy, Conor Brady, Louis Copeland, Theo Dorgan, Bernard Farrell, Gerard Mannix Flynn, Aine Lawlor, John Lonergan, David Norris, Terry Prone and Fergal Quinn.
Alice Leahy said that if ‘Wasting Time with People?’ kick starts a debate about why at a time of material success so many people are complaining about being “time poor” and the implications of that for all of us it will have been a tremendous success.
Alice Leahy went on: “As the pace of life in Ireland increases almost everyday, and stress becomes a fact of life for everyone, the amount of time we have, even for each other, seems to be harder and harder to find. In TRUST we meet the casualties, those who cannot fit in or keep up, and we know from our experience there is no hope of ever creating a society that will be a welcoming place for the outsider unless we can make time for others both in our families and communities. Indeed, that applies equally to people working in public service, where staff are sometimes made to feel they are “wasting time with people” when they give, even the most vulnerable, the time and attention they need.”
Alice Leahy also said that through this book TRUST is seeking to show how anyone can make a difference if they are prepared to make time for others. “Indeed, it is remarkable how we often talk about what the State can do to help others, and often forget the most important catalyst in creating a better society is what we do ourselves. We must make the first step, especially in terms of helping those who are outsiders feel part of the community. Time is required and until we recognise that we have to invest time with others, in our families, in our communities and in helping those who are forgotten we will never make progress in creating a truly inclusive society,” she said.