Sunday 17 December 2017

Don't blame the recession for plight of the homeless

Paddy O'Gorman says it is too easy to adopt the knee-jerk reaction of putting the blame on society and 'the system' for their problems

IONCE saw Pat Kenny of RTE intervene to stop a brawl between two drunken, homeless men. I thought about that incident last week when reading the annual report of Focus Ireland and its views, with which I don't agree, on the causes of homelessness in Ireland.

The incident with Pat Kenny took place about 1995. Pat was presenting his Saturday-night TV programme Kenny Live. Sunday Independent journalist John Drennan, who had written a fictionalised diary of a man on the dole, was a guest on the programme. So was Richard Bruton TD, then a government minister.

I was an invited member of the studio audience, as were a Focus Ireland worker and two homeless men she had with her.

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