Smug Old Lady Of Tara Street



Irish Times, December 23, 2014


Irish Times, this morning

Judith Goldberger writes:

And this year’s Rosita Boland award for smugness about those wanting to help others goes to fellow columnist Kathy Sheridan, safe in the cosy office across the street from Apollo House…

Good Times.

Kathy Sheridan: Beware the seductive simplicity of Apollo House (Irish Times)

Is a school sleepout best way to raise awareness of homelessness? (Rosita Boland, Irish Times, December 23, 2014)

30 thoughts on “Smug Old Lady Of Tara Street

  1. The Old Boy

    I read a good piece a couple of years ago from a rather different perspective, ie that the Belvedere sleepout boys were occupying the best panhandling spots in town on one of the busiest panhandling nights of the year. I can’t find it now, alas.

  2. Happy Molloy

    I just read that article, did the poster?
    Sheridan was taking issue with the denomination of the established homeless charities by some of those involved with Apollo house, I don’t see how that’s smug, try to read beyond the headline.

    It’s actually quite informative and highlights the complexity of the homeless problem, that it isn’t just a case of finding a gaff for these people, that they take a lot of minding and are the very people most would be calling junkies in a different conversation.

    1. Joe C

      I think Sheridan failed to listen to the source and instead listened to the fallout. In one sense, a principle aim of Home Sweet Home – to provoke discussion – has certainly been shown to have succeeded in some form. But the discussion moving away from fact-based roots doesn’t do any side (and all those in between) any favours.

      The campaign said from the start that it was a dry shelter, would be making this clear to anyone using it and would be policing it for any deviation from this. The back-and-forthing or ‘Do they know the realities of managing injecting areas, somebody coming back or emerging out of their heads’ is meandering further and further from the campaign aims.

      They are also under no illusion that enforcing a dry shelter policy does not cater for a large amount of homeless, as does other aspects of Apollo House. This was never an answer. It was a temporary solution both to do something over the worst time of year to be without a roof and to provoke a discussion and action amongst those who want something done and those who should be doing far more about it. It’s largely symbolic with some immediate and temporary benefits for many in a bad situation, born from the pent-up frustration of talking and talking and talking with the increasing feeling of being useless for doing nothing.

  3. Spaghetti Hoop

    In response to Boland’s unwise headline – the days of “raising awareness” of homelessness are well behind us. There can’t be one city dweller in the country not aware of the problem. The climate has now shifted to one of actually doing something for the homeless. Which is one reason why I agree many journalists are sitting in ivory towers.

    Incidentally, in all of the Apollo discussions here I haven’t seen any comment from a person who is currently on the streets or is/was one of those accommodated at Apollo House. Maybe there were and I’ve missed.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    Nothing wrong with Kathy Sheridan’s piece.

    Raising awareness is fine, but we should recognise that ‘ideology’ does not make for long term good services provision, professionals are required for that.

    What the fupp is smug about saying that?

  5. nellyb

    In the article concern about proper assistance for homeless people is detached from the fact that tonight, for example, the temperature drops to 4degC with the windchill of -3degC. While forecasted air temperatures at night don’t go below zero, the windchill does not go above 0degC. We are talking Proper Care next year vs People Freezing TONIGHT. Not acknowledging it properly had taken away from her otherwise legit concern.
    I don’t like the idea of unwell and suffering persons being jammed into a poorly serviced commune, it’s not good for either health or social rehabilitation, people need some semblance of normality. BUT the nature does not give a $*** about any of it. It will still be cold tonight. For some.

  6. mamma roma

    the Sheridan article is fine, Judith needs to climb off the high horse and realise that good will unless managed by long term expertise agents is not going to do much much other than making people feel good cos they “did something” before heading safely to their homes.

  7. Rob O' Connor

    The article is balanced and heaps praise on the Apollo House. It also doesn’t come across as being smug in any way. The homeless problem will not be solved by Apollo House on it’s own, so articles like Sheridan’s is very important to make people realise that.

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