President praises focus of coffee shop
Mrs McAleese mingled with customers as she took time out to visit Focus Ireland's coffee shop in Dublin's Temple Bar.
The coffee shop, which has already provided nearly 45,000 meals up to the end of November, is open seven days a week, including Christmas Day, and offers low -cost meals for single people, families and children.
President McAleese said the shelter highlighted the strong commitment by many excellent agencies to ending "the dreadful isolation" of homelessness.
"While at many levels, there are positive and encouraging developments, it is truly heartbreaking to realise so many men, women and children will endure a bleak Christmas without a home to call their own," she said.
Sister Stanislaus Kennedy of Focus Ireland said it was a great honour that the President had taken the time to listen to some of the people Focus Ireland worked with each day.