Written by
Alice Leahy
Catherine Cleary
The Stars Are Our Only Warmth

The Stars Are Our Only Warmth tells powerful truths about Irish life and the people who taught Alice what it is to be alive in this world.

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368 pages
226x155 mm

Also available as an Electronic Book (ePub)

Category Biography/Memoir

In the 1970s Alice Leahy left nursing to work and live in a Dublin homeless shelter. This is the story of her life and life choices, from an empowering childhood, with free run of a big house estate in Tipperary to her invaluable work with some of Ireland’s most marginalised people, at The Alice Leahy Trust, in Dublin.

Alice has always been an important voice in the debate around homelessness in Ireland. An insider with an outsider’s eye, this is the memoir of an untypical life from a radical humanitarian who has always believed that anything is possible.

The Stars Are Our Only Warmth tells powerful truths about Irish life and the people who taught Alice what it is to be alive in this world.

Alice Leahy is Director of Services of the Alice Leahy Trust. She was Co-Founder & Director of TRUST from 1975 – December 2015. The Alice Leahy Trust remains a non-judgemental, befriending, social and health service for people who are homeless.

Alice produced with two others “The Homeless Experience” a training module she co-facilitated for voluntary/community and statutory groups in Dublin. Alice is also an honorary member of Rotary Club Dublin and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Alice – a former nurse / midwife – with hospital consultants set up the first Intensive Care Unit of its type in Ireland at the request of the Medical Board at the then Royal City of Dublin Hospital in Baggot Street.

Alice is a former human Rights Commissioner, and former chairperson of the Sentence Review Group for prisoners, a contributor to public policy, writer, commentator and lecturer. Currently nominated for an international human rights award.

CATHERINE CLEARY is a journalist, author and broadcaster. She began her career as a reporter with The Irish Times in 1994 and became security correspondent of The Sunday Tribune. She met Alice Leahy in the 1990s while reporting on social issues around crime and poverty. Catherine’s publications include: Life Sentence, Murder Victims and their Families (2004) and A Month of Somedays, How One Woman made the most of Now (2012). She co-wrote Counter Culture, The Sheridans’ Guide to Cheese in 2015. She also co-wrote and presented the RTÉ radio series History on a Plate with historian Juliana Adelman. She has been writing a weekly restaurant review
in The Irish Times for the past seven years.

If you buy one book this year, buy Alice Leahy's The Stars are Our Only Warmth'


Patricia Messenger, C103's Cork Today

searingly honest, rightly hardhitting and wonderfully written … [Alice has] a masterful way of capturing the spirit of different periods in [her] life. It should be required reading for politicians, ‘executives’, managers

John Quinn (author)


Dungarvan Observer

a women of immeasurable courage and her story is extraordinary

Image Magazine

the book is so special it should be compulsory reading for every politician

Fran Curry, Tipp FM

a memoir to warm hearts

Sunday Independent

Very highly recommended 

Clonmel Nationalist

We need more like her ... there is a nugget of wisdom on practically every page. It seems to me that this book should be required reading for every policy maker in the country ... for the lay reader this book will teach us that the 'hopeless cases' we pass on the streets on our visits to the capital are as deserving of love and attention as anyone. It's an absorbing read

Tuam Herald
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