Homelessness – when is enough enough?

Lately I have been feeling exhausted. Exhausted by the country we live in. This beautiful country so rich with culture and spirituality, amazing scenery and fucking horrendous homelessness figures – 10,000 Plus as of today, 28 March 2019.

I feel exhausted by personal attempts to make a difference to homelessness, NOT the housing crisis, HOMELESSNESS. The housing crisis contributes to homelessness but they are different but related problems.

I have tried to use my work in music to both raise funds and raise awareness for homelessness over the last few years but that is actually no longer necessary in a rising economy because actually most of the charities operating in this area are extremely well funded now. People cared, they reached into their pockets and helped the charities who are dealing with homelessness.

And yet the homeless figures continue to rise… Is that not incredibly fucked up?? We are funding charities to help those stuck in homelessness on top of paying taxes to a government who refuse to do anything sensible to solve the crisis?

I still volunteer every week with a charity dealing with families stuck in the homelessness cycle. Families living in B&Bs for 1-2 years with no expectation of housing. And the charity I volunteer with continue to visit them with food vouchers to help with the fact that in the main they cannot cook in these B&Bs so their cost of living is significantly higher than the average person. We also help with school costs, communions costs and a lot more.

I am pretty immune to emotion around this now as I have been volunteering for over 5 years now in this area. But every so often I look at the increase in the visits we have every week to the B&Bs in inner city Dublin, I look at the lack of time we can give an individual looking for our help (because of the sheer number of visits), and I look at the indignity of having to meet our clients in the lobby of a shitty B&B so the client has no real protection regarding privacy (we are not allowed into the bedrooms) …and every so often I feel despondent and broken hearted that Ireland has let this happen. But then I realise that even though the way we deliver this help is far from ideal, it makes a difference.

Charities make a difference to a problem that is being ignored by the Government. Surely we have got to a point where enough is enough.

Peter Mc Verry Homeless figures – 15,000 +

Official figures 28/03/2019 – 10,264

Of which:

Children :3,784

Adults: 6,480

The charities are funded – we either shamefully continue to let them handle this crisis or it’s time to say enough is enough and speak up and rise up!

How to balance personal privacy with social media use when using it for work…


Privacy is always something that’s been important to me. I would describe myself as having a natural shyness but I’m not shy. Put me in a work situation and if I think its beneficial to my job I will network like there’s no tomorrow.

But before I started working in music and using social media for work, I wasn’t on social media too much. I didn’t have a twitter account and Instagram hadn’t been invented so while I had a Facebook account, none of my best friends were on Facebook. We just didn’t interact in that way, we met up, we caught up and we kept that to real life rather than social media life.  But Facebook was a gorgeous way to re-engage with both my primary and secondary school friends and regular meetups began to occur because of it.

But then I began to use social media for work, as a promoter, an agent and a band manager. In that time, I also set up a personal Instagram and Twitter account. The people who know the work I do know what accounts I manage and what bands or musicians I work with. It is also very visible on my profile on my social media accounts.

But that is my work. In terms of my private life while I have my personal accounts, they have lately become less and less used other than for posting articles. Even my personal Instagram account which I loved before I started to have to use social media for work, is less touched and lately had to be made private (for the second time) due to unwanted attention regarding me and my work life.

What’s my point on this? My point is I think is that social media is a tool that can be used to either market yourself or your business effectively. Can it lead to friendships? Yes, it most certainly can. But should care be taken when using social media? Yes, absolutely. I am finding I am using social media less and less for personal use and more and more for work use. It is a wonderful invention, but it can be abused, and care should be taken always with it.

If like me, you are a private person with a natural shyness then I would keep the personal social media use to a minimum but make it and you shine for work projects. In so doing you can take pride in your work and be creative but you yourself are never the point of unwanted and unsought virtual attention.

Just a few thoughts on a Tuesday evening as I prepare to head to Whelans for The Kíla Sessions. 7.30-9.30pm – Free Entry…Its feckin class!

kila sessions facebook (2)

The Irresistible Nature of Music

When I started Gardiner Music, somebody else updated my website. I was resistant to taking on the role of updating my website myself despite my enthusiasm around social media. It is strange the obstacles we put in front of ourselves to avoid doing something we need to do. Resistance.

But I persisted with  the resistance and also started to try to update the blog part of the website more frequently. I like to write, I am someone who journals, writing frees me a little, it helps me make sense of where I am at.

So this is my latest blog post and as the title says…Music is irresistible.

Last night was week 3 of the Kíla Sessions in Whelans, a little event I created for members of Kíla to drop in and out of on a Tuesday evening. I have a good relationship with Whelans, I admire and respect the people working there and I asked O’Haras Beers along as a sponsor. I am enormously grateful for the support of both companies and mindful that it is something I shouldn’t take for granted. It’s a good mix.

So week 3 was the best yet…I worried about a couple of things in week 1 and 2 – things I couldn’t name nor articulate because the sessions themselves were fantastic. But Rónán Ó Snodaigh helped me put words on that and last night I got to say to Ró, ‘Maith thú, well done, that’s it, tonight is what I imagined these sessions to be when I pushed The Kíla Sessions as an event’.

Thanks to Peter Ruotolo and Nick Seymour for coming along and helping with that .

I push ideas all the time to the artists I work with because to me music is utterly irresistible and I am always trying to widen the audience that understands that . Kila’s music more so than most. Although I work with them, every morning these days as I leave my house and stick my earphones in, the first song is ALWAYS a Kila tune. ALWAYS.

So in summary anything you resist (like the website for me) that could help you grow, do yourselves a favour and  find a way to make it irresistible…because anything pure that you don’t resist and that is good for you, like decent music, is to be embraced, enjoyed and learnt from.

The Kíla Sessions in association with O’Haras Beers take place in the Front Bar of Whelan’s every Tuesday from 7.30 -9.30