Alice Leahy Trust re-opening Monday 20th July 2020

We are very pleased to inform you that our centre will re-open on Monday 20th July 2020 adhering to all Covid-19 guidelines.  It will not be possible for us to cater for the number of people we met prior to the pandemic however we will strive to cope with as many people as possible. 

Thanks to all our friends and supporters who kept in touch with us and gave us great encouragement during this very challenging time.


After a lot of soul-searching and discussion with our Directors the Alice Leahy Trust decided to close on Friday 13th March.

Our centre is too small to ensure social distancing and the safety of our staff and the people who use our service would be compromised.

The people who call to use our service or visit us come from all over the city and beyond.

We too are conscious that we operate in the basement of a large city hostel and we must be mindful of their residents.

We do regret having to close but we had no option – we informed Dublin Regional Homeless Executive of our decision.

Jeanette is able to keep the office going from home and we liaise daily.

Like everyone else, we are daily monitoring the situation in these challenging times.

We look forward to the day when we can open our doors again but in the meantime – keep safe everyone.

Alice Leahy – Director of Services, Alice Leahy Trust

Addressing the problem of homelessness

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.

Remembering Mary Banotti – A wise and humble woman with an enquiring mind

Sir, – Hearing of the death of Mary Banotti reminded me of a morning walking the streets of Dublin with her a lifetime ago (“‘Trailblazer’ former Fine Gael MEP Mary Banotti has died”, News, May 11th). We met very early in the morning, wearing sensible shoes, knowing what lay ahead. We were both nurses and she wanted to see how we were working with homeless people and how she could help us. She was a wise and humble woman with an enquiring mind. It was a long morning, with no mobile phone distractions. We visited the many hospital casualty departments, the hostels, night-shelters, day centres and met people from all sections of the community en route. We met homeless people going to work in the gardens of better-off people, and some going to court where the judge was on first-name terms with them. We met friendly gardaí, often well known to the people we worked with. Some people were slipping in and out of the “early houses”. We spent time walking through the grounds of St Brendan’s Hospital meeting people lost in their own thoughts, and others spoke simply about institutional life. She listened intently and treated everyone with respect. She was interested to know how I ended up where I was and was most interested in my Tipperary roots where there was a huge emphasis on our shared community responsibility. She wore a pair of my mother’s hand-knitted gloves until they fell apart!

We exchanged correspondence over the years and we met last a few years ago and I was so pleased to thank her once again for her encouragement. I wonder what she would think of today’s Ireland? I am sure she would say “We live in a great little country” and “Yes we can”. – Yours, etc,


Director of Services, Alice Leahy Trust