The author reflects on his time as CEO of Galway Simon Community, a charity providing support to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
He uses both prose and poetic forms to ensure individual clients’ voices emerge from the fog of the cover all homeless tag. He reflects on aspects of the state’s attempts to deal with this persistent group within Irish society.
While exposing the pain experienced on the homeless journey he also provides evidence of successful re-entry into society when the necessary supports are in place. This is a tribute to the resilience of clients and the dedication of support staff.
Bill was born in 1954 in Clogheen, a small village set between the Knockmealdown and Galtee mountains in South Tipperary.
At age 12 he went to De La Salle boarding schools with a brown suitcase and a vocation. Five years later he returned home with the same suitcase minus the higher calling. He emigrated to England in 1976 to train as a mental health professional. This started a forty year career working in various services for people with intellectual difficulties, mental health needs and for the last six years before retirement with homeless people.
He met his wife Sharon in Kent and they brought their three children to live in Connemara Co. Galway in 1998.
He was always a scribbler and an avid reader. His retirement in 2018 has afforded him the time to dedicate to his writing. He has self published four memoirs covering his life as a young child and teenager, his time in boarding school, his three years as a student nurse in an eleven hundred bed hospital and his 6 years as CEO of the homeless agency, Galway Simon Community.
He has also written two poetry collections and one short story book as well as a collection of disparate memories.
His other passion is gardening which he came to late and where he loses himself when he wants to find himself.