St Vincent de Paul gives dignity to those in poverty, says Ryan Tubridy

St Vincent de Paul launched its annual appeal for support on Wednesday

Students from St Margaret’s NS with Ryan Tubridy, at the launch of the Society of St Vincent de Paul annual appeal, in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Students from St Margaret’s NS with Ryan Tubridy, at the launch of the Society of St Vincent de Paul annual appeal, in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

There can be dignity in poverty, Ryan Tubridy has said.

“You can be in poverty and go through it with dignity. We can’t end poverty but we can fight it, we can try to reduce it and the only way is if we come together.”

Speaking at the start of the annual appeal from the Society of St Vincent de Paul, he said the huge contribution the society made was to give people in poverty some dignity.

He was particularly struck by two numbers in the charity’s press statement for the annual event – that the society’s volunteers will make 140,000 home visits between now and Christmas and will make 400,000 in the next year.

“Why is this still happening in 2014?” he asked, remarking that he kept hearing about the economic recovery Ireland was making and that the corner was being turned.

He said it was clear there was a lot of anger about the ongoing economic situation and that for many the “well is dry”.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul was a vital lifeline for many of these people, and gave people in poverty a “dig out”. In many cases, he said, it enabled them to get back on their feet, to regain some economic independence and even to give back and help the society as their circumstances improved.

The society’s annual appeal raises money not only for supporting people through Christmas but through much of the coming year. It has spent an average of €40 million a year on direct assistance to low-income families since the crisis began in 2009, compared with €23 million a year before 2009.

Further information for anyone wishing to support the society is at www.svp.ie