Any socialites that have been living in Dublin more than 5 years have surely noticed an increase in squalor within the city such as homeless wanderers and beggars.
While many generous souls will help them out by dropping a euro or two in their cup, or even donate a cup of tea and a sandwich, our individual efforts (Focus and Simon included) only aim to treat the symptoms of Irish poverty and will not put an end to it anytime soon.
A recent study yielded results that showed a 35% increase in homelessness since last year – when addressed by Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald within our parliament she attempted to downplay this information by calling it a “slight increase”.
I’m no statistics expert but as far as I could gander I’d say 35% is not an outlying number to be ignored, doubly so for the fact that the 35% represents human beings and not quarterly profits for a business.
The delusional right hand of our prime minister spewed further verbal diarrhea regarding the increase stating that “it does show that there is a slowdown in the rate of increase and that has to be welcomed” – I’ll be sure to tell Barry , the resident beggar on the Ha’Penny Bridge whom i pass on the way to work, that should perk him up.
Our most recent census found that there are almost 260,000 vacant homes in the State – 61,204 of which are vacant holiday homes – at a time when homeless families are having to be accommodated in hotel and B&B type accommodation.
Meanwhile, our ministers pass around the beach ball that is their responsibility to protect our citizens , and our streets are becoming final resting places for victims of violent deaths, hypothermia, and drug overdoses.
While there has been demand for social reform in recent months such as the Repeal campaign and numerous marches for the rights of our homeless, there is no clear next step towards progress when our “leaders” are either completely out of touch or simply apathetic to the strife of the most vulnerable in our society.
“Let them eat cake” comes to mind.