“This remarkable documentary...may have made some of us realise that there, but for the grace of God, go I,”

Mary Holland, The Observer

“...a sharpand moving reminder of what can happen when a society no longer has place for the outsider.”

Kathy Sheridan, The Irish Times

A Fragile City

Duration: 26.42 minutes

“I have no friends,” said Damian, while Paddy described how: “I pick the loneliest spot in the park to spend time”. Two quotes from people who know what it is like to be without a home and experience the sense of exclsuion from society that comes with it. This film looks at homelessness through their eyes, and others who find themselves outsiders in a world where being without a home can mean real isolation and exclusion for many.

Alice Leahy, the co-founder of TRUST, the pioneering health and social agency for people who are homeless, believes that those who find themselves homeless are often outsiders who cannot fit in. Helping people is not about forcing people to fit in and the film uncovers TRUST’s philosophy in action showing how a non judgmental approach that respects people rights can make a difference.

A FRAGIL CITY is the result of several years of collaboration between Alice Leahy and filmmaker Anne Daly. They first met when Anne was a reporter in RTE, and covered many times the issues highlighted by Alice and TRUST, especially the importance of tackling exclusion and the stigma associated with those who become homeless in Ireland.

The documentary sought to challenge the stereotypes that are presented especially in the media when people are referred to as “the homeless”. “There but for the grace of God go I” resonated with filmmakers Anne Daly and Ronan Tynan for a long time after making this film because the stereotypes do not exist. As Alice Leahy put it they are just “people” often drawn from all walks of life who for one reason or another find themselves outsiders in our society.

Amongst those who featured in the film included poet Micheal O’Siadhail, whose book of poems A FRAGILE CITY inspired the title of this documentary; Singer Christy Moore, who recorded a special version of Quiet Desperation for the documentary; Judge Michael Moriarty; the late Dr Oliver Connolly; and journalist Padraig O’Morain.