Shameful’ — Four-year-old child who shames the Government
23rd April 2021
The image of a four-year-old girl eating dinner from a plastic tray on a roadside was discussed in the Dáil yesterday as Government inaction on homelessness caused by surging rents was decried as ‘shameful’.© Provided by Extra.ie
During her speech Mary Lou McDonald called for rents to be cut and increases to be banned.
The Sinn Féin leader said the depths of the housing crisis have been ‘cruelly exposed’ by the ‘shocking number of tents’ in Dublin.© Provided by Extra.ie During her speech Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called for rents to be cut and increases to be banned. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
She then referenced the image of the little homeless girl eating food on the side of the street outside a Dublin soup kitchen, which emerged this week.
Ms McDonald told the Dáil: ‘The heart-wrenching image that we have seen again of a four-year-old child sitting on a crate here in the capital city, eating her dinner on the side of the street.
‘It’s not the first time that we’ve seen a child eating their dinner in similar circumstances, and this, I suppose, is the sharpest edge of bad policy and of bad government which has seen house prices go up and up.© Provided by Extra.ie The image of the four-year-old child eating from a plastic tray on the street.
‘Indeed the CSO [Central Statistics Office] tell us that house prices in Dublin have increased by a staggering 96% in the last nine years.’
Hitting out at the Government’s inaction on soaring rents during Leaders’ Questions yesterday, she called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to ‘ensure that rents are cut and that increases in rents are banned’ along with a ban on evictions.
Responding, Mr Martin said: ‘That image, that photo, is a very upsetting one, but progress has been made in relation to homelessness in the last ten months. Family homelessness has declined by about 42%.’© Provided by Extra.ie Ms McDonald called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to ‘ensure that rents are cut and that increases in rents are banned’ along with a ban on evictions. Pic: Julien Behal Photography
He did not respond to the plea for rent reforms. After the exchange, Ms McDonald tweeted: ‘On the basis of his non-response and evasion, I can only conclude that the Taoiseach does not believe that rents are too high, that rents need to be cut and frozen, that generation rent needs a break.
Shameful stuff from the chaos government.’
Shame Paranoia and Loneliness
Fred takes a stroll the down the canal these days of early summer. Dotted along the canal are the homes of our fellow human beings, who do not want to be caged in hostels, often unsafe and targetted by drug dealers/takers and tempted down the path of addiction again. Many of these people are on the straight and narrow possibly taking methadone. The City is an eerie place these days. The 5 km ban is over, now we can travel within the county but for our homeless people this is a luxury but irrelevant to them because they are living in the heart of the City for that connection with a culture that provides them with some of their basic needs. For a start they can beg if they need money and often if sitting outside a supermarket especially, people will get them a tea/coffee, sugar if they needed and a sandwich or even a cake. Their habitat is vacant these days so they must feel the impact of COVID-19 in a more harrowing way than other people who have an element of choice in their lives because basically they have money and can use this to help cope with the Pandemic Fever that has befallen our world.
I admire greatly Fr Peter McVerry and the work done by the McVerry Foundation. I watched him on the Tommy Tiernan show last week and note a comment I often hear him say and that is it is not necessarily about giving the homeless money; to say hello, to acknowledge them can be equally important. Then I read about a survey and it said that homeless people suffer and experience the feelings of Shame, Loneliness and Paranoia. Fred Bassett is taking note of this and is encouraging people to treat homeless people or if there people living in a tent near you with respect and dignity. Ask if they need anything. The young woman I know is an avid reader so where possible I get my personal assistant (ie a dogwalker paid for by my owner) and I have a few books for her to read while she begs on the empty streets of Pandemic Crisis Dublin 2, Ireland.