The School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin is hosting a public seminar on:


Date Thursday, 8 April 2010

Venue JM Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College

Time 19.00 – 20.30


The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill 2010 arises from the High Court judgment in the case Niall Dillon –v- the DPP, where the High Court found that the existing law (i.e. the Vagrancy (Ireland) Act 1847, section 3) was unconstitutional. The Bill provides for an offence of harassment or intimidation of members of the public by persons who engage in begging and confers power on members of the Garda Síochána to give directions to persons to desist from begging.

The purpose of this seminar is to provide an opportunity to debate the regulation of begging in Ireland in the context of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill, 2010, by placing the legislation in a comparative perspective and by highlighting the ethics of such regulation. The first speaker of the evening, Silke Paasche of FEANTSA, will provide an overview of anti-begging legislation and policies in Europe, with Suzanne Fitzpatrick of the University of York discussing ethical issues in the use of enforcement to combat street culture in England. The two presentations will be followed by responses from Mike Allen of Focus Ireland and Richard Guiney of Dublin City BID (Business Improvement District) and questions from the floor.


Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick is Joseph Rowntree Professor of Housing Policy and Director of the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. Suzanne joined the University of York in 2003; she was previously a Lecturer in Housing and Social Policy at the University of Glasgow. Suzanne is Editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy.

Ms Silke Paasche is Policy Officer in FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organisations working with the homeless, where she has worked for the last four years. She is currently responsible for the areas of employment, participation of service users, migration and quality of homelessness services. Before joining FEANTSA, Silke gained some work experience in the European Commission and the European Platform of Social NGOS.

Mike Allen is Director of Advocacy, Development, Research and Communication in the housing and homeless charity, Focus Ireland.  He served as  General Secretary of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) from  1987 to 2000. He  was a member of NESC and NESF, and represented the unemployed in social partnership negotiations. He has written numerous articles on unemployment and social exclusion and is author of The Bitter Word: Ireland’s Job Famine and its Aftermath (Poolbeg, 1998). From 2000 to 2008 he was General Secretary of the Labour Party.

Richard Guiney is CEO of Dublin City Business Improvement District. The Dublin City Business Improvement District is a not-for-profit organisation that works, on behalf of its members, to create an attractive, welcoming, vibrant and economically successful BID area.

To secure a place at this event, please contact Eoin O’Sullivan by email to tosullvn@tcd.ie

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