Tuesday 28 March 2017

Charity ends at home when it comes to nationality of beggars

We seem to tolerate beggars so long as they are passive and, of course, not foreigners, writes Emer O'Kelly

THE Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill 2010, published by the Minister for Justice last year, will criminalise people who beg within 10 metres of the entrance of a business premises.

Sounds good? You probably think so if you have felt irritated, intimidated, guilty, or embarrassed as you pass by a fellow human being seated on an icy pavement, holding a badly written note which says "Irish and homeless. Please help".

Actually, one suspects that the passing of the Bill will be yet another cosmetic exercise: a piece of paper on the statute book, unsupported by the means or capacity to enforce its measures.

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