It all began 50 years ago with a phone call to Eamonn Murphy in Cork, from a peer in Dublin Simon. With that the “unstoppable momentum” of Cork Simon was set in motion. Now a clinical psychologist in Galway, Eamonn reflects on the origins of Cork Simon Community.

”Youthful energy was the first noticeable thing when the Simon Community came on the scene. There was a certain spontaneity and a certain joviality about the whole thing and once it got started, it had a momentum of its own and it was unstoppable.
Very little was known in Ireland about the social deprivation that existed, and nobody knew what lied under the open sky in Cork prior to the Simon Community. We only got an insight into that with soup runs, and what we found was exactly what Anton had found in London, that is alcohol addiction, domestic violence, sexual abuse, young people male and female, in and out of prison, and society treated all these individuals as misfits. When the Simon Community came on the scene, that concept was thrown aside and we saw people as people, kids as kids, deprived of love, deprived of homes, deprived of education, deprived of health.
It started off with nobody foreseeing where it would go. It had its own energy and was a bit unstoppable; sometimes an idea has its own energy."

Eamonn recalls Anton Wallich-Clifford, founder of the Simon Community in London, his philosophy and his connection with Cork ...