“Some days ago on the Order of Business I raised homelessness in Ireland and the high incidence of homelessness among the Irish in Britain. In London it is estimated that up to 40% of those who are homeless are of Irish extraction.
This matter should be entirely removed from the party political arena as it is too important and serious. We all feel very deeply about it.
There is nothing more traumatic than to walk along a street and see a person sleeping rough, with those going home from parties stepping over them.
We should remember that, in the past, if a person saw someone lying in the street for whatever reason, be it health or drink, they would stop, lift them up and help them. That was the culture and philosophy in Ireland years ago.
This has changed and the reasons for the change must be examined as no matter what is done by Government or local authorities the problem will not be solved unless the reasons for homelessness are identified and community attitudes are changed.”
Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú speaking in the Seanate.