Opinion

Saturday 19 August 2017

Michael O'Doherty: President's catering budget for a week would give homeless artist Kevin Sharkey a home for a year

Kevin Sharkey outside his homeless centre in Dublin City Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kevin Sharkey outside his homeless centre in Dublin City Photo: Gerry Mooney
President Michael D Higgins
Áras an Uachtaráin. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Michael O'Doherty

Michael O'Doherty

It costs the taxpayer over €16,500 to feed President Michael D Higgins, his wife, and the guests that he welcomes to his Phoenix Park Residence, Aras an Uachtarain.

On top of his salary, and the cost of his various travel and security requirements, which cost millions every year, you may think this isn't a big deal. Until you realise that this is not the yearly figure - it's €16,500-a-week.

Such obscene extravagance is surely a source of disquiet to most reasonable people, but especially so to Ireland's growing homeless population, to which this week we have added one, rather notable figure. Because according to yesterday's newspapers, artist Kevin Sharkey is of no fixed address, living in sheltered accommodation, as he awaits a house from Dublin City Council.

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