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The true Santa can give us all a lift

Glum is a word you don't hear much now, and it seems especially churlish to bring it up at this time of the year.

I understand people are feeling a little battered. The sparkle and decorations give a nice glow to the city, but the streets are a tough place to be if you don't have a fireside, or a friend, to give you the lift that should come with the season.

I was reading in your paper how four people have died sleeping rough recently, and it made me feel low.

I pass through Dublin often and I've seen the gleaming empty apartment blocks; and in my journeys through the country, I am familiar with the ghost estates, too.

I'm not a bright spark, so smarter fellas than me must have wondered if it would be possible to get these poor unfortunates into some of these unoccupied dwellings.

At present, they are just monuments to our collective greed and cold ambition.

What a wonderful thing it would be were they to have a meaningful purpose, used to shelter our weakest.

I thought my wish was a forlorn one, until I also read a few days later about the true Santa. I refer of course to Saint Nicholas, or in his present guise, Brother Kevin Crowley, the Capuchin monk who lives in our capital city.

When everyone else was taking, Br Kevin gave out 3,000 parcels this week to bring comfort and joy to those with nothing.

It lifted my heart, and I felt ashamed of myself for daring to feel down.

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I'm alive and the evenings are getting longer; and sure, sometimes don't we need the dark to see the light?

Ned Joyce
Caslecomer, Co Kilkenny

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