Dundalk FC manager Stephen Kenny made a significant speech about homelessness in Ireland after he was named the PFAI Manager of the Year on Saturday night at an awards ceremony in Dublin.
The double-winning boss was deservedly recognised after a phenomenal year with the Lilywhites. His prowess on the field is assured after four league titles since taking charge. However, he elected to address non-footballing matters in his award-winning speech and instead highlighted the rising homelessness problem in Ireland.
He recalled it is seventeen years since Sean Kavanagh reached out to him. Kavanagh founded the Irish Street League - Homeless World Cup. The Steet League helps people move from being socially isolated, to being part of something. Kenny noted that the issue has only worsened since then and used his platform to address it.
"I think it is becoming a much bigger issue. Unfortunately, more participants than ever. When you talk about real heroes in society, you think about Fr. Peter McVerry. The work that he does, he calls for the government to act as if it is a national emergency."
You talk about hotel rooms, we could come here three or four years ago and pay €100 quid for a hotel room locally. Tonight for anyone, it is €300 quid. If you are homeless, what chance have you got? I do think that it used to be people with addictions that are homeless or people with issues. Now it is just families, normal families that can't afford the rent.
It is a massive, massive issue. I think the fact that it is not being treated as a national emergency, as Fr. McVerry suggests it should be, is absolutely a big disappointment.
Darragh Maloney credited him with speaking "very beautifully and powerfully" and Kenny got a rousing round of applause after his deliverance.