President Higgins spoke at todays event; extracts from his speech are included below:
"Today marks the thirtieth occasion on which people have gathered around the world to observe the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Today also marks the first gathering to take place in the time-frame of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2016-2030) which has as its first goal: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere. As President I have spoken before of how critical it is that we look beyond the aim of alleviating poverty, even beyond eliminating extreme poverty; of the importance of broadening these aims and seeking to eliminate poverty in all its forms and to address issues such as needless and avoidable early mortality and morbidity, the elimination of diseases, and the many other factors which so impoverish the lives of citizens across the world". President Higgins, 17-10-16
Ray introduces 'Object Poverty'
Putting 'Object Poverty' together
Jane and Ray making it happen
The name's Band, Ray Band
Seanie Lambe represents Ireland at the reading of Joseph Wresinski's address.
President Higgins referenced Robert Walker as he continues in his speech:
"Professor Robert Walker, in his book The Shame of Poverty, wrote that:
"If a society creates the illusion of meritocracy – that you get what you deserve, that the harder you work, the richer and more valuable to society you become, it suggests that the opposite is also true – that it is shameful to be poor, and that poverty is self-inflicted."
We are, it would seem, living in a time when the increasing spread of extreme individualism has led to the erroneous fiction that poverty is a sign of a personal failure, that it has somehow been ‘deserved’. However, poverty and its associated suffering is never deserved.
O'Connell Boys serenade the crowd
Waiting for the President
Setting the scene for President Higgins; Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr looks a little ignored, Belinda!
Stacey talks to the crowd about ATD's Health Project
Paula shares her powerful testimony:
"We, as mothers, have enough to deal with on a daily basis. Like making sure our kids are clean, in school and have food on the table. But more and more mothers don't have a table to put the food on because they don't have homes. I'm currently living in a small hotel room where there is myself, my partner and 3 boys aged 2, 3 a dna 14. Now, what 14 year old boy wants to share a room with his own mother, her partner and two small children? My son is at an age where he should have a sense of privacy when he goes to bed. But with the way things are at the moment, that's a luxury I can't afford him. So most of the time he stays with my mum.
"I know people might say 'all they need is enough love and care'. My children get that in abundance. And I thought I was handling this really well until I tried to cook potatoes in the microwave for my kids. They turned out great, so I mashed them and tried to soften them with milk. The milk turned sour as soon as it hit the hot potatoes as it had been there since the night before - I'm in a hotel, I don't have a fridge. So this made me fall apart and cry my eyes out like a fool. Before anyone thinks, "For f**ks sake, it's only potatoes", it had actually nothing to do with the potatoes. It was me realising that I live in poverty. I am in this hard, stressful way of life adn this means I cannot be the mother I am more than capable of being.
"Yes, my boys are loved, and no matter how I manage, they are fed, washed and have clean clothes everyday. but it shouldn't be this hard! There are thousands of mothers in the same situation as myself and that needs to change. Let's fight together so myself and every other mother can finally get their own dignity".
President Higgins speaks out against poverty and for ethical economics. You can read his full speech at http://www.president.ie/en/media-library/speeches/president-gives-an-address-at-an-event-to-mark-un-international-day-for-the
Gary and Belinda presenting President Higgins with a smaller version of 'Object Poverty'
Examining some of the details...
...And finding the funny bits.
Ray meets President Higgins and brings him over to the full size version on 'Object Poverty'.
Yes, that's an actual sleeping bag from a homeless agency and was probably used on Dublin streets last night
Walking 'Object Poverty' to Sheriff Street
'Object Poverty' outside the Hilton
'Object Poverty' on tour
Stacey and Cathleen
Gary - shy as ever
Pierre and Ray
Back at base