It is truly a stark indictment of a failed Government when hundreds of desperate citizens are forced to queue outside food banks.
And it is even a deeper shame on well-minted and wholly uncaring TDs and ministers when some of those food banks run out of supplies, and are forced to turn people away.
In scenes reminiscing of Somalia and other African countries during times of famine, scores of people queued outside St John’s Pavilion in Limerick to get a bag of food. But demand far exceeded supply, and the service ran out after handing out 2,500 bags. Over 150 people were turned away, and asked to come back the following day.
The service, which is jointly ran by the Redemptorist religious order and St Vincent de Paul, has been operating since the 1970s. Iy will try to organize 300 more bags for tomorrow, according to one of the volunteers.
Around 6,000 food bags have so far been delivered around Limerick City and county, homeless hostels, and given to people who have been evicted under Government-sponsored tutelage.
As the Dáil breaks up for Christmas and politicians head off without a care in the world, this is the true state of the country they are supposed to be looking after.