Homelessness – image and reality


Sir, – I would appreciate it if your writers would give readers credit for having some intelligence.

Murphy’s ‘posh boy’ image hurting FG amid worsening homeless crisis” (Analysis, August 30th, 2018) is not the first article to appear attempting to blame the Minister’s “posh boy image” for his unpopularity.

What is hurting the Minister and his party is the fact that we have a government that has presided over and exacerbated the worst housing crisis in the State’s history.

It has used Nama to allow bankrupt property developers recover and to sell desperately needed housing at knock-down rates to so-called “vulture funds”.

It has clogged up the private rental market by using it to accommodate those in housing distress and refusing to build sufficient social housing to address this problem.

It has permitted the construction of “student accommodation” to enable accommodation to be rented at extortionate prices, and it has constructed homeless hubs to institutionalise people as homeless. All this has made the process of securing, and living in, rented accommodation a permanently stressful and expensive part of many, many people’s lives.

We all know these facts as they are reported and opined over endlessly. I’m sure most of us don’t care what the Minister’s background is; our opinion of him and his Government is a result of their actions or lack of actions, and no amount of visiting shelters or serving breakfasts will change this. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Whenever I hear the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government talking about the housing crisis on the radio I immediately switch stations.

It’s the same old story of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The solutions outlined by Eoghan Murphy are not solving the problem and we now have nearly 4,000 children homeless.

The homeless mother-of-seven Margaret Cash moved into a new home after her plight was rightly highlighted on social and mainstream media.

Perhaps if The Irish Times and other media outlets were to do a series of articles on each and every homeless child, accompanied by a countdown register as each child and family gets housed, we might get some real and tangible results. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.