Helping out the homeless for Christmas Day

By Mary Dennehy

PREPARATIONS are underway for the community-led Christmas Day dinner for the homeless in Tallaght.

Since its inception in 2014, the numbers attending the Christmas Day dinner for the homeless have more than doubled from 140 in its first year to 315 in 2019.

Christmas Day Dinner 1 2018 compressor

Volunteers with Cllr Dermot Richardson last year

The dinner is made possible by a huge community effort, with individuals, groups and local businesses ensuring that those in need, alone, sleeping rough or living in homeless hubs have a special place to go on Christmas Day.

Last year a three-course meal was served up in Kids Zone, with those in attendance also receiving gifts, warm clothes and practical items like sleeping bags and toiletries.

Due to the generous outpouring of support from local people and businesses, hampers, vouchers and toys were also delivered to more than 285 families struggling to provide Christmas in their own homes.

Tallaght councillor Dermot Richardson (Sinn Féin), one of the founders of the Christmas Day dinner, told The Echo that preparations are now underway for this year’s event.

According to Cllr Richardson, an invitation has been extended to anyone who may be alone, isolated or living in a hostel or hotel this Christmas.

Buses will be available on the day to bring people to and from the event, which runs in Kids Zone, Whitestown Industrial Estate, Tallaght, from 1pm to 4.30pm on December 25.

A call-out is also being made to local people, groups and businesses to support the event once again, with donations of vouchers, food for hampers, adult gifts, toiletries, toys, warm clothes and sleeping bags now being received.

Anybody interested in volunteering is also encouraged to make contact.

Anybody who would like to attend the Christmas Day dinner, volunteer or donate can call Cllr Richardson on 087 2036468.

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