“Some of the €64 billion that is going into the banks is private debt, and some is sovereign, and some of that could be used to help community services that need support, including the homeless,” said Athlone’s Cllr. Paul Hogan, who took part in a Simon Community sleep-in on a damp November night.
“Homelessness is a big problem in the midlands, and the Simon housing unit is packed to capacity, and a soup kitchen opened in Athlone last week, and there is a demand for it,” said the Sinn Fein councillor, who took part in the Kilmartin roundabout sleep-in. “I volunteer in the local youth cafe, and there were some young men under 21 years of age there, who found themselves homeless.”
Cllr. Hogan who at age 24, in 2007, was Ireland’s youngest mayor, said that politicians should take lead roles in working to resource and fund Simon. He said politicians should be out on the street, helping people in distress.
“It’s great to see Mayor Jim Henson here tonight, but the problem is there are not enough of us working to help people with all of our might,” said the Sinn Fein councillor. “Politicians pay should be cut, and high earners should have their wages capped at €100,000. Those are the type of people who need to take the hit.”