“Years Of Bad Behaviour”


Eileen Gleeson, Director of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE). Dublin City Council, through the DHRE, is the lead local authority in the response to Homelessness in Dublin.

Eileen Gleeson, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, said long-term homelessness resulting from years of “bad behaviour” cannot be solved by the efforts of “ad hoc” unauthorised groups.

“Let’s be under no illusion here, when somebody becomes homeless it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years of bad behaviour probably, or behaviour that isn’t the behaviour of you and me,” she told Dublin City Council’s policing committee.

“They’re afraid to come in, they’re reluctant, they’re quite happy to continue with the chaotic lifestyle they have. If somebody provides them with some sort of halfway shelter they’ll willingly take it.”

Homeless people are “entitled to dignity”, she said, but they must be linked up with expert staff who can break the cycle and get them off the streets permanently. “If they’re only getting a cup of soup and they’re homeless it isn’t helpful,” she told councillors.

Volunteers giving only food to homeless ‘not helpful’, official says (Irish Times)


Damien English

“Some of this narrative has seeped into international coverage of our housing system and is damaging to Ireland’s international reputation, that our social response to this issue is being portrayed as dysfunctional.

As Teachta Dála we have a responsibility in this regard and the good work being done in difficult circumstances needs to be recognised.”

Junior Housing Minister Damien English in the Dáil last night.

Damien English: Media reports of homelessness crisis ‘damaging to Ireland’s international reputation’ (breakingnews)

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89 thoughts on ““Years Of Bad Behaviour”

    1. realPolithicks

      They all seem to be singing off the same hymn sheet, a cynical person might think that there is a co-ordinated effort going on here.

      1. Optimus Grime

        Eh it’s not! She is clearly stating that helping people on an ad-hoc basis is offering them no long term solution to their problem and only qualified staff and structures can and should help the long term homeless.

  1. Eamonn Clancy

    If there was no bad behaviour at home they’d still be living there, no? This snowflake generation is just not able to deal with the truth.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Define bad behavior though. Is it losing your job? Is that bad behavior? Is it vulture funds and sly landlords turfing people out of their homes? Is that bad behaviour? Is it people plucking figures out of their Anglo holes? Is that bad behaviour?
      Plenty of ivory towers built recently.

      1. Catherine O Gorman

        At last…someone who is asking the pertinent questions….the ‘bad behaviour’ is the obnoxious behaviour of the bankers who precipitated the crisis in Ireland back in so called Celtic Ireland. In the history of the State we have never had so many homeless men women and children. Vultures, invited in by M.Noonan and Co. continue to wreak havoc on Irish people. Anglo….the most toxic bank to ever do business in this country…I know from harsh experience! Damuen English…wake up!

  2. Frilly Keane

    So its the Media that’s causing damage to Ireland’s reputation

    Leo’s Spin Class is never done showing how much craic he’s having
    and RTE and Newstalk work for them

    ara’ stop pissing me off

  3. b

    “Mike Allen, the director of advocacy with homeless charity Focus Ireland acknowledged that some voluntary groups were not helping the homelessness situation. He told Newstalk Breakfast on Wednesday that Ms Gleeson could have chosen better language and that it was not helpful to say anything negative about people trying to help the homeless.However, he said a lot of the voluntary groups did not know the correct protocol for accessing services and sometimes operated in isolation, even with a degree of rivalry with official teams.

    “Speaking this morning, Anthony Flynn of Inner City Helping Homeless, which provides outreach services on the streets of Dublin each night, said that while he didn’t think think Gleeson’s comments were helpful, he didn’t “disagree in certain aspects” when it came to her specific remarks about groups handing out food in the city.”

    so that’s the two of the main charities not disagreeing her. Some people are afraid of debating how best to get good outcomes in homelessness for fear of offending some volunteers

    1. GiggidyGoo

      ‘In certain aspects’ = in your last paragraph you left that part out. Which aspects did they disagree with?

      1. b

        wasn’t clear in the article i read, rest is below. I think there is a real issue in the amount of people employed by homeless charities – there must be a case to pool their resources in manpower and funds to do better. This isn’t about shifting blame from the government, it’s about looking at the resources we have and the outcomes they are getting

        Flynn, who said there was a need for 150 extra beds in Dublin this winter, said he had observed “an overpopulation of groups” solely handing out food in the city.
        “When it comes to voluntary groups I think those people are trying their best,” Flynn told TheJournal.ie.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          I’d think the reason there are so many groups is that they’re taking up the slack. Take out a few of them, and you’ll have people starving as the others wouldn’t be able to cope. I think Peter McVerry would have a far better understanding of the situation than a pen pusher in DCC. And this one that holds such a position as Director of the regional homeless making these type of comments puts the attitude of DCC into perspective. The type of one that would step over or kick someone that was down. That’s what I get from her comments anyway.

    2. Fact Checker

      Gleeson’s comments are not fair to the broad group defined as homeless, although it is probably a good description of many of them.

      The CSO did a release on this earlier this year (http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp5hpi/cp5hpi/es/)

      Some of the statistics on the homeless population would surprise you. For example a full 18% are actually IN EMPLOYMENT and another 8% are students.

      Of the 5000 or so homeless there are in fact 150 adults who have children AND are in employment. 10% of the homeless have a third-level education.

      It is surprisingly easy to slip into homelessness, especially in an urban area with rising rents and if you have health issues and lack a social support net. We should be very careful not to stigmatise people.

    3. Martco

      I just listened to her clearly rattled self being interviewed on the radio, not entirely believable imo.

      All individuals are doing here could be equated to First Aid in an accident scenario. Yes let’s look into the distance and ignore the person you’re tripping over whilst the experts are busy having their academic argument and planning sessions? Would ya ever f.r.o
      But I can tell you what, I do know a rat when I smell it, there has been a noticeable concerted and filthy dirty attempt going on (esp over the past few weeks) to normalise the scenario across the spectrum be it rough sleeping to housing supply…everything from sure we’re grand look at all the other countries type bllx to what she just blurted/stated…there’s clear spinology going on here tying people in knots. As for her to me she sounds like she hoped she’d get away with regurgitating this noise but she got called out and I for one am delighted.

  4. GiggidyGoo

    Closeted opinion from someone with no real handle on the situation. Let’s see her address a group of people that have been made homeless by the FG slumlords- it’ll never happen mind you. Cowardly pronouncements from her ivory tower.

  5. ahjayzis

    “Some of this narrative has seeped into international coverage of our housing system and is damaging to Ireland’s international reputation, that our social response to this issue is being portrayed as dysfunctional.”

    Brilliant! Nothing gets fixed unless it affects tourists or our international “partners”, finally a counterweight to international vulture funds. It’s just a shame they flat-out do not care about the people they actually work for.

    1. Pluto

      Here we go – the FG backlash. Attack ordinary people trying to do something / anything to help people sleeping on the streets.

      Attack the homeless themselves because ”they put themselves there”.

      All in a disgusting move to ”normalise” the issue and continue on as if everything is grand.

      ”It’s not a crisis, stop talking about it like that.”

      Yes because using the word crisis highlights the fact that FG has done nothing and will continue to do nothing.

      I hate to say it but FF are probably the only hope – they are populists with zero moral standards however, they will react to the changing public tone when it becomes increasingly clear that destitution is unacceptable and a major shift in government policy is required (e.g. set up ONE government body to start building social housing and stop relying on the private market). They’ll do so because they hunger after power like FG but they are more in tune with the public mood than FG.

      FG will NEVER do anything about the housing / homeless crisis. They will continue to outright refuse to introduce any major shift in their failing policies because they are far far to the right of their self-styled ”centre-right” position and they know who their ultra-conservative base are.

      1. Martin jackson

        Any chance you would head back to Pluto with that stupid statement. FF are enabling fg by keeping this shower in government,Mehole Martin is only waiting for the polls to swing in their favor before pulling out and forcing an election. Then he can go to the people pontificating that only fine fail can save the country, and the lemmings will lap it up.

    1. Nigel

      My God you are some sort of genius to predict that the response to a bad thing would be for people to say that the thing is bad. For your next trick predict that the response to a funny joke will be or people to laugh. I predict you will then clap yourself on the back again. I are a genius also.

  6. anne

    The homeless on the street are not counted in the official homeless figures, so years of bad behaviour has made 3000+ children homeless..& 5000+ adults. Right….

  7. Nigel

    They just. … they have no capacity for getting to grips with this at all, have they? Their strategy seems to be to make this normal, in line with international figures, just a sad fact of life. Even if bad behaviour wasn’t an awful choice of words, they’re emphasising the inevitability of a base line of homelessness due to factors adjacent to a housing shortage and insane rents and unsustainable mortgage debts, in order to fudge them all together as sad but acceptable.

    Meanwhile sevices for ‘bad behaviour’ people, ie people suffering addiction, alcoholism, mental health problems, fleeing DMV, kids getting out of abusive households, etc have been austeritied to the bone, leaving them all vulnerable and in danger and somehow beyond help, an increasingly self-fulfilling prophecy. God help us.

    1. anne

      You’re absolutely right, there is an attempt here to fudge all the homeless together as one group..when in fact the official homeless don’t include those on the streets. Awful stuff.

      1. Killian G

        Official homeless data doesn’t include people sleeping on the streets!! You actually have to laugh… couldn’t even make that up, could you? I suppose you could say they’re actually camping.

          1. Anne

            They do NOT. That’s a census. Different than official homeless figures –


            How many people are homeless?

            There were 8,374 people homeless in the week of September 18-24 2017 across Ireland. This figure includes adults and children with their families. The number of families becoming homeless has increased by over 37% since September 2016. More than one in three of those in emergency accommodation is now a child. However, this number does not include ‘hidden homelessness’ which refers to people who are living in squats or ‘sofa surfing’ with friends. Furthermore, women and children staying in domestic violence refuges are not included in these homeless emergency accommodation counts. The national figure also does not include people who are sleeping rough.

          2. Fact Checker

            I would think that numbers put out by Ireland’s only national statistical institute are pretty ‘official’.

          3. Cian

            I think you’re both right, but talking about different things.
            The ‘official’ CSO number include rough sleepers – but are done annually.
            The ‘official’ Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government figures are monthly, and exclude rough sleepers.

      2. Nuala MC Namara

        1)Ireland just uses 3/7 ETHOS light Categories of homeless as OECD Report says
        2).Ireland excludes the 4007 homeless in women’s refuges which includes 2349 children..(supposed to be included in Category 3)
        3)Ireland excludes rough sleepers.(supposed to be included in Category 1)
        4)Ireland excludes those who live in Institutions for longer because no housing available.(Category4)
        5)Ireland excludes people living in non conventional dwellings eg mobile homes,tents, temporary structures (Category 5)
        6)Ireland excludes those living temporary in conventional housing with family and friends due to lack of housing.(Category 6)
        Note: CENSUS’16 states there are 95,013 overcrowded houses & if you just count 1 in each of those houses,that’s another 93,013 homeless!
        7)Other elements with people’s living conditions or status not included above.
        Note:there are over 120,000 HOUSEHOLDS on social housing lists:if you count just 1 per household that’s another 120,000 homeless.
        So there’s ‘offical’ homeless of 8374 including ‘offical’ 3124 homeless children which is only tip of iceberg!Ireland according to OECD supposed to includeCat1,rough sleepers (but doesn’t)Cat2 people in emergency accommodation (yes)Cat3(but excludes women&children in shelters/refuges)
        The narrative about homelessness and those who wish to highlight it has been disgraceful,its the damage that homelessness does to men,women and children that Government should be concerned with not excuses!Saying figures” low” when excluding all the thousands more above is silly!Saying it’s “normal” when it’s abnormal and unacceptable is silly,that’s like saying crime,abuse,murder etc is normal just because it occurs in other countries!Talking about ‘bad behaviour’ re homeless is wrong,they are human beings first and foremost.
        A good read is:”Homelessness in Ireland and Norway(& Finland and Denmark) Presentation from Eoin I Sullivan,School of Social Work &Social Policy,Trinity College,Dublin”

        1. Cian

          Can you provide evidence of the “4,007 homeless in women’s refuges” please?
          I’m really surprised at that number, and I can only find a total of 776 (from 2014)

          “•In a one-day survey in 2014, 475 women and 301 children were accommodated and/or received support from a domestic violence service. (Safe Ireland National Domestic Violence Statistics 2014)” https://www.womensaid.ie/about/policy/natintstats.html

          1. Nuala MC Namara

            Safe Ireland :’The state we are in 2016″
            1658 women & 2349 children in refuges:889 children under 4&422children between 10-14 years.
            4831 unmet requests for refuge because refuges full.
            12,500 people:9448 women and 3068 children received support and /or accommodation from a domestic violence refuge.
            Report says there’s 21 women refuges(but I thought I heard that some in danger of closing due to lack of adequate funding but urgently need more as you can see from the 4831 women and children whose requests could not be met because refuges full.
            Now this Category of homeless is included Category 3 ETHOS light but Ireland excludes them….why?
            ETHOS is European Typography of Homelessness and Housing Exclusion which EU trying to get countries to adopt so that REAL comparisons can take place but more importantly to find out TRUE homeless figures.Ireland only uses 3/7 of those Categories & even then excludes Cat 1 rough sleepers & in Category 3 they exclude women &children in refuges.
            Also they exclude Cat4 temporary living in Institutions because lack of housing,Cat5: people living in non conventional dwellings mobile homes tents and temporary structures,Cat 6: people living temporary in conventional housing with family and friends due to lack of housing.Census’16 said 95,013 overcrowded houses,Cat7others.Over 120,560 HOUSEHOLDS on social housing lists.
            All these Categories of homeless re ETHOS should be adopted FULLY by Ireland if it Government truly want a ‘Republic of Opportunity’ for all citizens in Ireland.Goverment’s top priority should be to help people who are badly damaged by homelessness including children….thousands and thousands and thousands of people!

          2. Cian

            Nuala, My reading of those numbers on [http://www.safeireland.ie/safeireland-docs/STATE-WE-ARE-IN-SAFE-IRELAND.pdf ] is that they apply to the whole year of 2016.
            “1,658 individual women and 2,349 individual children stayed in refuge.”

            The actual number of women’s refugee spaces is probably nearer 800.

          3. Nuala MC Namara

            As for your comment below re refuges,the ‘offical’figures Ireland uses are for the year plus you can see nearly 5000 unmet requests for refuge also same year.Going by ETHOS light the figures I quoted for women and children that year would be counted in Category 3 but Ireland excludes those homeless as well!

          4. La-La from the Teletubbies

            PEOPLE are NUMBERS.

            It all makes sense now.
            What was I thinking of earlier on?

            I feel so silly.

      1. Nigel

        Y’know what? I hope so. Please let me be wrong and let them be poised to really get on top of this effectively.

      1. Ban the Poo. Ooh-er!

        It’s all Clinton’s fault since George Soros paid off Putin (secretly) who then made it all look like 9-11 was an inside job from a secret pizza cafe in Syria and you know what you’re uninformed if you think not

  8. Anomanomanom

    Did anyone actually listen to her speak. When reading it, it does not come across how it was actually Said.

  9. Andrew

    It has been said before by people like Alice Leahy and others that there is too much duplication and funds are been wasted by homeless charities. We all know as well the dubious ways some charities are run so I agree that the whole thing needs to be looked at.
    However the wider picture here is the government’s active role in the rocketing of housing costs in this country.
    It is their policy and it has worked. People who own property like this policy and will vote accordingly.
    The stark reality is, that homeowners and investors of which there is a huge number are happy with how things are going and don’t care about anything else.

    1. Anomanomanom

      That’s not true, I’m a property owner and id love to see prices nose dive again. And il explain why. I can’t sell the property to try get a bigger house,its need its not just for vanity I want to trade up, even though id have around 25% of the sale left after clearing all debts. I wouldn’t afford a house now any where near close to where I live/work. And rents have now gone from €850 when I rented to €1300 in the same area. So if prices drop and people can buy, it forces the rental price down.

      1. Andrew

        That maybe your view but in reality most people who have a mortgage like to see their house price rise, whether they plan to sell or not. Especially those in negative equity. It make them feel better and richer.
        It is sad and it would of course be better for everyone in the long run if housing costs were cheaper, but Ireland and its people doesn’t appear to want that.
        Even the political left here don’t want to grasp that nettle, otherwise they would be serious about the imposition of property taxes on investment property.

  10. Murtles

    So stop feeding homeless people ye bloody do gooders. Eileen and her army of expert staff are on hand to sort everything out from here on in. Mightn’t get around to all of the 8,000 or so straight away but sure a few weeks without food will allow them to reflect on their wicked ways.

  11. Harry Molloy

    There’s a point or two in there somewhere, and it is what the McVerry Trust has been saying for a while, but the use of language is appalling.

    “Bad” behaviour, without elaboration, is easily misconstrued.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      I believe she’s speaking of rough sleepers, and those who have been sleeping rough for long term. She specifically says so.

      She, is not speaking about the more recent hotel accommodated homeless families and those who do desire accommodation.

      Ad hoc services will do noting for the first group. That’s her point, which has been lost on someone getting offended on behalf of the second group.

      That’s what I see here anyways….

      1. Harry Molloy

        that’s exactly it, rough sleepers, she needed to have a little more clarity going on the radio. still, I’m sure she’ll be regretting it for the rest of the day!

        1. GiggidyGoo

          Of course she will Harry. The neighbors will be talking. No doubt there will be an ‘apology’ made on the basis of ‘if I upset anyone, them I’m sorry’. You know the type…the non-apology.
          Off to Terry Prone for some coaching will Be next. Watch the bills.

      2. GoddessDurga

        But in Finland they tackle rough sleeping by building homes, settling the rough sleepers in them and then giving them social services to help them to reintegrate. Why aren’t we doing that?

        The “bad behaviour” argument is like the old arch-Catholic trope that girls wouldn’t “get into trouble” if they weren’t “sleeping around”, which justifies not helping the children born to single mothers.

        This is the song of the dysfunctional country.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          Your first point you make is what she argues for. Not ad hoc, and less Mickey mouse stuff. But long term work, as you say, like the Fins. She wants that.

          Your second bit is ignorant of the mindset of many long term homeless rough sleepers, many of whom will refuse accomodation for various reasons, often due to mental health and / or addictions, and behaviours picked up, learnt or adapted by them in dysfunctional homes they were in prior to being homeless.

          Your analogy is ignorant.

  12. Jim Bob Julius

    How many homeless peoples ‘bad behaviour’ has its origins in childhood abuse or mental illness?

    A ‘normal’ (for want of a better word) person does not take heroin, a person who has been traumatised might though. Of course there are those who are just wasters but many are not and have been failed as children, as abused children, as adults and as mentally ill adults.
    As for the image aboves tagline:

    ”Eileen Gleeson, Director of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE). Dublin City Council, through the DHRE, is the lead local authority in the response to Homelessness in Dublin.”

    So considering how bad the problem has become and Eileen is the lead local authority response to homelessness (in Dublin), is it accurate to say Eileen Gleeson is a failure at her job?

    Because she doesn’t seem to be doing a very good one. Still, like, hmmmm, John Tierney of Irish Water/Galway/Poolbeg fame, she will probably be richly (and maybe even prematurely) ‘rewarded’ for her inability to perform.

    Just another day in Ireland Inc. Am sure Lower Verucca will be along to tell us (alone with a rolled up sleeves Eoin Murphy) exactly how this is all a matter of perception.


    1. Killian G

      I think your comment is interesting and mostly correct but when you then come out with “Lower Verucca”, I’m sorry to say I lost some respect for you. I don’t lke Leo Varadkar’s policies, but that ‘comically’ distorting his name is a bit childish – it’s the sort of ‘joke’ that bad@memes fool wheels out time after time. Let’s not go to that level!!!

      1. Jim Bob Julius

        @ Killian G – I’m sure one day my devastation at your loss of respect will be something I can live with. Until then, I will soldier on.

        I was going to call Varadkar a liar, a coward and a venal piece of dog excrement but I went with the kinder option of a silly name. Did I err?

        The guy is, like all his FG/FF buddies, a parasite.

      2. nofunbob

        Lighten up Killian . You sound like the bore at the party telling everyone about the giant verruca on your foot.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      “So considering how bad the problem has become and Eileen is the lead local authority response to homelessness (in Dublin), is it accurate to say Eileen Gleeson is a failure at her job?”

      Based on just that info, no.

      1. martco

        just to be contrary somewhat
        I’m going to say YES and here’s why…if the ultimate deliverable out of her job was actually successful then the very people being argued over on this thread (those trying to do good on a personal direct basis outside the system) would just not be at issue in the first place, there would be no need for individuals to help. we would not be having this discussion.

  13. Sheik Yahbouti

    it’s this simple – homeless people are the new seagulls and rats “don’t be feeding them – you’ll only encourage them”. No doubt some pig ignorant Senator will step forward to advocate a cull. Seagulls, homeless peeps, pine martens, whatevah.

    1. Edith

      You hit the nail on the head. What next ? If every homless person were to eat just one other homeless person we would half the amount of rough sleepers !

  14. RepeatTheLeaving

    Eileen Gleeson will get away with it because she’s a woman.

    Mind you, she should give that homeless guy his false teeth back. The photoshoot is over.

    Perhaps she can join Rosita Boland of the Irish Times on the Belvedere student’s sleep out this Christmas. Bring Kathy Sheridan while she’s at it.

  15. La-La from the Teletubbies

    Let me get this straight…

    The Homeless are a sub-species and the government are sub-human, yeah?

    We should all sleep well with that.
    We normally do. We can dismiss it, because yeah…
    …these homeless people… what is their problem, eh?

    I saw one of them drinking a cup of tea the other day, in broad daylight…
    The absolute cheek of her…

    1. La-La from the Teletubbies

      I’m not the only one who paid for that cup of tea.

      Rise up.

      (She might’ve been drinking coffee. I didn’t bother asking. I had already crossed the road. I would’ve looked a bit stupid, shouting at a homeless person…)

      Kill the poor.
      All ways.

  16. The Night Watcher

    Getting benefit from our current social welfare system and supports takes mental resilience and an ability to interact with and deal with people. Many people lack one or the other and not through their own fault. Things like sexual abuse, mental difficulties, physical abuse or maybe just even a prolonged run of bad luck will do that to you. What do we do?

    One way is to simplify the system.

    The other, which should also be applied, is to introduce a bit of kindness. A very underrated commodity these days, but it can produce magical results in building trust and confidence. Do you shout at a mistreated animal, to get them to sort themselves out? You do not. You treat them gently and with kindness. Many homeless people are homeless because they have been treated like animals. Many more are treated like animals because they are homeless. The system doesn’t even treat them as well as a pet rescue service would treat the animals they rescue.

    A bit of kindness, gentleness, respect and confidence-building is much needed.

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