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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 24 May, 2019
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Running tally tops €100k as Belvedere lads brave freezing temperatures for charity

The students have been braving driving rain, high winds and 3am ‘Coppers’ crowds to raise cash for three homeless charities.

The Belvedere lads on the streets at the GPO
The Belvedere lads on the streets at the GPO
Image: Photocall Ireland

STUDENTS AND PAST-PUPILS from Belvedere College have been sleeping rough in Dublin city centre for the last two nights, amid harsh December weather conditions, in a bid to raise money for homeless charities.

It’s the thirtieth year of the annual charity drive. Over €130,000 was raised last year, and more than €1.5 million has been raised by the students since the tradition began.

The running tally for this year passed €100,000 just before noon today, as TheJournal.ie paid a visit the lads’ camp at the Bank of Ireland on College Green.

“The levels coming in are definitely up there,” past-pupil Ben Conroy said. “People are finding it very hard with the recession, but they’re still being ridiculously generous.”

Funds from this year’s sleep-out and fast are going to the Fr Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and Home Again, and €2 text donations can be made by texting ‘sleepout’ to 57802.

In terms of the weather conditions over the last 48 hours, those taking part have had to deal with everything winter can throw at them — from heavy rain on Sunday night, to high winds and freezing temperatures last night.

Ciaran Boylan, another past-pupil, said that while the weather hadn’t been great, their experience couldn’t be compared to the plight of the hundreds of people around the country with no option but to sleep rough.

Belvedere’s Ben Conroy and Ciaran Boylan (Youtube: TheJournalVideo)

Conroy said their collectors had been out well into the early hours, rattling their buckets at late-bars and nightclubs around the city.

“The bouncers at Coppers were great — they actually let a few of the lads in and they did really well going around to everyone.”

The students will be keeping camp at their two locations — College Green and the GPO — until around 6pm this evening, and the final tally from the effort will be announced later this evening.

The latest rough sleeper count, carried out by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, found there were 139 people bedding down on the streets of the capital on 12 November — an increase of 45 since April of this year.

You can follow the lads on FacebookTwitter — or just drop them a few quid as you pass by!

Read: 139 people slept rough in Dublin on 12 November

More: Simon Community says Phoenix Park death highlights the vulnerability of the homeless

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