News

‘Keep the music playing on Lyric FM for all our sakes’ | Irish Independent 24th September 2019

Since Lyric FM first aired in 1999, its music has wafted through our basement centre in the Liberties.

Back then the people who used our service came from the island of Ireland. In recent years the people who call come from up to 26 different countries and all sleeping out in parks, doorways and so on throughout the city and beyond.

The music creates a peaceful atmosphere for all those who use our service and those who attempt to meet their needs. The benefits are unquantifiable. Language barriers break down as the body language at times acknowledges the composer from a home place miles away.

This generally follows on with a struggling attempt to share its history and its special place in the culture of one’s country of birth. Dare I suggest Lyric FM at times defuses potential racism and aggressive behaviour as the music plays on?

“Music is the language of the spirit, it opens the secret of life, bringing peace, abolishing strife,” wrote Kahlil Gibran.

There is a world out there which rarely reaches the centre of power, where decisions are made. So let’s hope common sense prevails and the wonderful station with informed and dedicated presenters continues to brighten our days.

Alice Leahy

Bride Road, Dublin

Suicide and bereavement | The Irish Times 18th September 2019

Sir, – Patsy McGarry writes: “But someone, somewhere must address the appalling aftermath of suicide.”

These few words reflect those said by so many people too often ashamed or even afraid to say how they feel in the aftermath of the suicide of a loved one.

Acknowledging this fact would lead to much-needed discussion on the topic. This could only be helpful to the many people grieving in silence, and constantly asking themselves, why!– Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.

“We should pay heed to Mannix’s firm views” | Irish Daily Mail 4th September 2019

Regarding the Brenda Power article headlined, ‘So who will dare back him?’ (Mail yesterday) – we [Alice Leahy Trust] have been working with people labelled homeless in our capital city for over 40 years.
We regularly say that we should not be here looking at the amount of money that has been spent over the years in the field of homelessness. Councillor Mannix Flynn is a man who has a huge experience of poverty and, more importantly, he has the courage to say it as it is with honesty. He has been doing this in relative isolation far too long. Too many people, including some public representatives, say privately they agree with him but haven’t the courage of their convictions to speak out. ‘The reality is that there is almost no tolerance of any alternative voice on the issue of begging and rough sleeping in the capital of our country. If you are to suggest that the epidemic of begging might perhaps not all be the fault of society then you are labelled a bigot and a fascist’ – how true those words from Brenda Power are.
We can only make some progress in dealing with these issues if we are confident enough to say it as it is and mature enough to listen to the alternative voices.

ALICE LEAHY,
director of services,
Alice Leahy Trust, Dublin 8

Understanding homelessness | The Irish Times 1st August 2019

Sir, – Sorcha Pollak, in writing about the death of Polish man Michal Wasikiewicz, highlighted some of the issues faced by people who become homeless and also the problems faced by people attempting to meet their needs (“‘Family and friends keep asking me when his funeral will be held’”, News, July 29th).

It clearly highlights what homelessness as opposed to houselessness means. This is an issue that is rarely discussed or indeed understood in the current debate around homelessness. Families of people who become homeless can be challenged and often made to feel they are not doing enough.

The pressure on agencies at times to get personal information from people can easily tread on people’s rights and sometimes push people further away. People have a right to live the life they choose to live, even if choosing “a road less travelled”, which can unfortunately mean often their families are left with a lot of unanswered questions. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.