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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 24 February, 2020
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500 poor and homeless people will be given a Christmas dinner at the RDS today

Around 3,000 Christmas dinners will also be prepared and delivered to the homes of those in need.

Volunteers during the Christmas Day Dinner at the RDS in 2009
Volunteers during the Christmas Day Dinner at the RDS in 2009
Image: Mark Stedman via RollingNews.ie

OVER 280 volunteers will provide Christmas dinner for around 500 poor and homeless people in Dublin’s RDS today. 

The meals will be provided by members of the Royal Dublin Society, who have once again provided their facilities to the Knights of St Columbanus for the 95th Christmas Day Dinner, a feature of Dublin since 1924.

Some 500 guests will be provided with a three-course meal of soup, Christmas dinner and dessert, along with refreshments. 

In addition, the volunteers will provide up to 3,000 takeaway meals and “goody bags” containing food, toiletries, soft drinks and household products for the Christmas period. These will be delivered to the homes of those in need. 

The group behind the Christmas dinners has said that the need for takeaway dinners is increasing every year, “reflecting the difficulties experienced in our community due to housing shortages”. 

A free transport shuttle service to and from the RDS from pick-up locations at Dawson Street, the Four Courts Buildings and O’Connell Street will operate every 20 minutes from 9.30am. Coaches will return from the RDS up to 1.45pm. 

“We sincerely thank the many volunteers for their enthusiasm and commitment and for extending a friendly and spiritual welcome to all those in need at this time of Christian celebration,” Paddy Sheridan of the Christmas Day Dinner committee said. 

“We include all those in need to attend the RDS to celebrate Christmas Day with us,” he said. 

Entrance to the RDS will be from Anglesea Road and the Christmas Day dinner will start from 11am. 

Latest figures from the Department of Housing show that 10,514 were in emergency accommodation in Ireland in October, including 6,688 adults and 3,826 children. 

The official winter rough sleeper count was also published this week and found that a total of 92 people are confirmed as rough sleeping across the Dublin region in winter 2019 compared to 152 in 2018.

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