Erica Fleming, a Dublin mother, gave a passionate and powerful speech at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis on Saturday night.
Erica told how she didn’t want to become a campaigner for the homeless because she was “ashamed” of what she and daughter, Emily, 9, were going through after they were made homeless.
Erica, who has been living in a hotel since June with her daughter, said: “I exposed how unfair the system was towards us and I am glad I did it.
“I am glad that flame was sparked within me because now it is a burning, raging fire and it cannot be extinguished by anyone.”
The words were met by applause at the event in Dublin. The speech showed just how far Erica has come, gaining confidence as a public speaker.
Her speech was reminiscent to famous others in history, including those fighting for women’s and black rights, as part of a global civil rights movement.
The mother asked what “kind of message was the establishment sending to children.
“They are teaching our children that money is more important than basic human rights.
“Today over 2,000 children are homeless, anxious and upset…denied a chance to have a normal, happy childhood, free from worry and discrimination…denied a basic human right.
“Do you think that the heroes of 1916 would be happy about this? Well they wouldn’t.
“When the low income earners are treated as a drain on society…this was not the dream of the 1916 heroes.
“Children are precious gems that should be protected from the evils of the world.”
Erica held a protest in Dublin city centre yesterday while commemorations were being held for 1916.
The mother has gained a huge following of supporters as the homeless toll increases to grow.
“The state has failed us, has failed my precious gem.
“As I stand here today, I demand action, for the public to say enough is enough…because we are on our knees let us rise.
“The issue of homelessness needs to be tackled today.”