Dara O’Briain Makes Impassioned Speech About ‘Normalised’ Homelessness In Ireland
Addressing the Global Irish Economic Forum yesterday morning, Dara O’Briain urged Irish ex-pats returning to take action and “give back” to the homeless crisis in Ireland.
The comedian’s speech urged those in attendance to “take a contract” to give something back to the country, which has “normalised” homelessness as the numbers of those sleeping rough on the streets continues to surge.
According to the Irish Examiner, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, businessman Denis O’Brien and dragons Norah Casey and Peter Casey were in attendance of the forum held in Dublin Castle.
Explaining his sadness at the rapidly increasing issue, the presenter said:
“I have been here for the last 12 weekends. I stay in the Shelbourne Hotel and I walk for every gig from the Shelbourne Hotel, down Stephen’s Green, down the city until I get to Vicar St, and it’s a pleasure to do that.
“But there are many, many, homeless people as I walk past.
“One guy that I walked past at the Huguenot cemetery, just there on Baggot St, was lying in a sleeping bag reading a book by the light of the bus stop and it just normalised it, and in a way that is even more heartbreaking.
“Not all economic indicators are on the way up.”
Taking his opportunity on the stage to do good, O’Briain added that his final gig in Vicar St this year will raise funds for the Simon Community, as his way of “giving back”:
“I feel a certain obligation. I take a lot from the city both in enjoyment and the work I do, so it’s possibly time to give back to it again.
“That may be the contract that we have with you: We have taken a great deal from the country as Irish people; we have gained membership in a particularly enjoyable club where we feel we all know each other, we know everyone, and we are also happy to give back because of that.”
Recent figures published on Homeless Dublin shows an increase in the number of individuals who have accessed homeless accommodation in the city. In the second quarter of this year 3095 people have availed of homeless services.