Tuesday 23 January 2018

Musicians are banding together in support of Ireland's homeless

CRISIS POINT: Niamh Farrell of Hamsandwich — ‘We all need to stand up and shout as loud as we can that we won’t stand for it. Everyone deserves a safe place.’ Photo: David Conachy
CRISIS POINT: Niamh Farrell of Hamsandwich — ‘We all need to stand up and shout as loud as we can that we won’t stand for it. Everyone deserves a safe place.’ Photo: David Conachy
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Rock Against Homelessness in aid of Focus returns to the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on April 7. In response to the homeless crisis in Ireland, some of the nation's biggest acts have come to together for this charity concert.

HamsandwicH, Finbar Furey, The Blizzards, Delorentos, Paul Cleary of The Blades, Ivy Nations, August Wells - plus special guests - will perform in aid of Ireland's homeless.

Homeless musician Danny Bracken, accompanied by Paul Brady and Dave Fleming, will also perform on the night.

Danny lives in one room in a hostel on Amiens Street with his three guitars and banjo. Brady has also agreed to record with Danny.

Independent News & Media, Ireland's largest media group, is organising the event. This follows its successful involvement in last year's Rock Against Homelessness concert.

"INM is delighted to be organising Rock Against Homelessness to help raise funds for the chronic plight of those in need," said INM Group Editor-in-Chief Stephen Rae. "The event was a huge success last year and we are looking forward to a fantastic gig with a stellar line up in 2017."

Niamh Farrell, of HamsandwicH, said: "Homelessness is at a crisis point in Ireland and we all need to stand up and shout as loud as we can that we won't stand for it! Everyone deserves a safe, warm space to go to when the day is over and so many people don't have this. No one should be left out in the cold, we need to reach out and help each other as much as we can."

Ro Yourell, of Delorentos, said: "With recent figures showing no decline in the numbers of people in Ireland forced to sleep either on the streets or in temporary accommodation, it is imperative that we keep the eradication of homelessness a priority."

"I look forward to a day when there'll be no need for charities such as Focus," said Paul Cleary. "In a country as rich as Ireland, a permanent and safe home should be seen as a basic human right, and ought to be provided as a matter of course to all of those in need."

Focus Ireland communications 0fficer Michelle Moran said: "There are now 2,407 children who have nowhere to call home in Ireland.

"It is truly shocking that last month one child became homeless every five hours in Dublin alone. This is unacceptable and wrong and our staff are working every single day with families and individuals to help them overcome the terrible impact being homeless has on them. In such a crisis, events like Rock Against Homelessness help put a spotlight on the issue and raise vital funds."

She added: "We would like to thank Independent News & Media and all the artists taking part in the concert for supporting our work to end homelessness. Focus Ireland managed to support over 300 families to secure a home and leave homelessness last year and events like this play a key part in helping our work."

Ken Griffin, of New York-based band August Wells, added: "Homeless men women and children sleeping in the shadows of empty buildings is a form of madness. A madness that weakens the idea of a decent society. Songs are not homes, but a lot of them are about home."

Tickets for Rock Against Homelessness are available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide, and cost €30.00. Phone & internet bookings are subject to 12.5pc service charge per ticket, agents €2.15.

Sunday Independent

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