News

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.

RE: COVID-19

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

Funding public showers

Council has made money available

Sir, – Alice Leahy (Letters, June 11th) is correct about the need for city centre public showers and toilets and that she circulated those proposals to Dublin City Councillors on several occasions.

She is also correct in saying that action should have been taken on these and that Dublin deserves better.

What may not be known is that Dublin City Councillors have at least twice voted for the introduction of such facilities and provided the initial funding in the city budget.

The fact that they have not been delivered is down solely to our system of local government with huge powers resting with the executive.

This is the deliberate policy of both the permanent and temporary governments. What I cannot understand however is the complicit behaviour of the vast majority of media in Ireland which protects and implicitly defends the disastrous role of the Department of Housing and Local Government in our country.

From my experience in nearly 30 years as a public representative is that huge swathes of Ireland’s problems – starting with housing, planning and local government – all lead back to the Custom House [Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage].

– Yours, etc,

Cllr DERMOT LACEY

Donnybrook,

Dublin 4.

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 .