Right, now I'm no preachy singer-songwriter and I don't want this blog to veer too far off topic onto issues readers wouldn't generally consider to be cultural, but I told two people I'd write about them, so I will. Don't worry, the next post is my more usual sort of topic, the Christmas markets!
Last weekend after at the big protest march on O'Connell Street I met two people, a man and a woman, who told me about their experience of homelessness. He's still homeless; she, remarkably, managed to go from being homeless to having a home earlier this year.
They were both very friendly, and pleased both to talk and to be photographed. Then they decided that it would be better to avoid having the photos here, because they had a different point to make: they felt very let down by how society treats homeless people. I don't mean in a general way - they had two specific complaints. Firstly, they felt that the unavailability of 24-hour hostels for homeless men was a problem. (I presume it must be pretty shocking to have that sort of instability and uncertainty in life.) Secondly, they felt that they had been treated badly by the staff in a hostel on Sean MacDermott Street. I don't know the details and I can't really comment on it - except that I was 100% convinced of the sincerity of the man and woman I was talking to. He showed me scars on his arm from repeated suicide attempts... I've never seen anything like it.
I wish them the best over the next few months. As for my part, I think I'll just have to make a donation to a homelessness charity.
[Note: As topics like this are important, but no necessarily suitable for this website, I'll probably set up a personal blog. More on that later. Thanks for your patience.]