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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 4 December 2021
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Businesses club together to host party for 500 homeless people

President Higgins takes up role performed by Mary McAleese to greet diners at Annual Lions Club party for vulnerable Dublin citizens.

Mary and Martin McAleese chatting to guests at the 2010 'Eric's Party' hosted by the Dublin Lions Club for homeless people.
Mary and Martin McAleese chatting to guests at the 2010 'Eric's Party' hosted by the Dublin Lions Club for homeless people.

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D HIGGINS is to attend a party for 500 homeless people tomorrow in Dublin’s city centre.

The annual Dublin Lions Club event will provide hot food and entertainment to its guests at the Irish Life Mall on Abbey Street tomorrow evening. Singer-songwriters Declan O’Rourke and Paddy Casey and the Dublin Gospel Choir will perform as volunteers dish up drinks and a meal until from 6pm to 9pm.

The guests are mostly drawn from the ranks of people who avail of the services of day shelters run by various voluntary groups around the city every day. The numbers availing of services like this has seen a surge nationwide in recent years - a report by TheJournal.ie last September on the Cork organisation Penny Dinners noted that it had seen a threefold increase in clients over the past two year.

The idea behind the party is for businesses to “give back to the less fortunate of their hometown” but it has also previously served as a platform for highlighting the plight of the city’s most disenfranchised and vulnerable citizens. President Mary McAleese spoke at the party for several years and President Higgins is to pick up the baton this year.

While the event is drawing close, the organisers say that they would still be grateful for any donations or volunteers to make the night as enjoyable as possible for their guests. See more about Eric’s Party here (it’s named after Eric Webb, who began the first such party in 1962 in a Tara Street night shelter).

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