| 0.2°C Dublin

Lord Mayor visits North in fight for the homeless

Close

Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke pictured at  the forum to discuss the problem of homelessness at the Department of Environment

Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke pictured at the forum to discuss the problem of homelessness at the Department of Environment

Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke pictured at the forum to discuss the problem of homelessness at the Department of Environment

LORD Mayor Christy Burke took his anti-homelessness crusade north of the border in a visit to his Belfast counterpart.

Cllr Burke met residents of the Stella Maris homeless centre run by charity Depaul along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon where they were told of the challenges facing homeless people on both sides of the border.

His visit came following a week where homelessness has hit the top of the political agenda following the death of Jonathan Corrie near the Dail.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny later joined Mr Burke on a soup run in Dublin and spoke to people sleeping rough while Environment Minister Alan Kelly pledged to offer every homeless person a bed by Christmas.

Welcoming Mr Burke and Ms Mallon to their Belfast centre, Depaul chief executive Kerry Anthony thanked them for their support and told them his organisation supports 367 people in Ireland everyday.

She said their visit was particularly pertinent given the renewed focus on homelessness.

The Lord Mayors met with some of the 23 residents of the Stella Maris centre hearing their stories of how they became homeless.

ADDICTIONS

"We are encouraged about this visit today. Services like ours are essential to ensure people with addictions have a safe and warm environment to come to, with the professional help they need available.

"We are so grateful that they shine a light on homelessness, particularly at this bitterly cold time of the year."

SDLP member Ms Mallon said the invitation to her opposite number from Dublin was part of a drive to build on the strong relationship that exists between the two cities.

"Christy shares my drive to remember our society's forgotten citizens and to acknowledge the great work of our unsung heroes," Ms Anthony said.

Mr Burke and Ms Mallon had a number of engagements in the city including a tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol and a civic reception at City Hall.

"I was delighted to accept the invitation from Nicola to join her on a day of engagements across Belfast," Mr Burke said.

He added that it was a "privilege" to meet "many inspiring leaders that are doing such great work."

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy