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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019

Over 450 poor and homeless people will be given a Christmas Day dinner at the RDS today

Some 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

OVER 300 VOLUNTEERS will provide Christmas dinner for some 450 poor and homeless people in Dublin’s RDS today. 

The meals will be provided by the Members of the Royal Dublin Society, who have once again provided their facilities to the Knights of St Columbanus for the 94th 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 Christmas pudding, along with refreshments.

Toys will be provided to the many homeless children attending the dinner. 

Some 3,000 Christmas dinners and puddings will also be prepared and delivered to the homes of those in need throughout the Dublin area. 

In addition, volunteers will provide ‘goody bags’, containing food, toiletries, soft drinks and household products for the following days, which will be delivered to those in need in their own homes. 

These bags will be provided to all 450 guests attending the dinner and a bag will be included with the takeaway meals. 

Organisations have said the need for takeaway dinners is increasing every year, reflecting the difficulties experienced by the community.

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 be operated every 20 minutes from 9.30am. Coaches will return from the RDS from 12.45pm.

“The volunteers play a tremendous part in ensuring the smooth running of the Christmas Day dinner. The generosity of the volunteers, with their time at Christmas, is astonishing year after year,” Adrian King of the Christmas Day Dinner committee said. 

“On behalf of our guests, we thank them and deeply appreciate their generous co-operation and support. This day would not be possible without their help.” 

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

Emergency accommodation figures for November, the latest available figures, show that there were 9,968 people living in homeless accommodation last month, an increase of 244 people on October’s figures. 

Meanwhile, the number of people sleeping rough in Dublin has increased to 156, according to the latest Rough Sleeper Count, which was published earlier this month. 

According to the latest count– carried out twice a year by 100 volunteers – the figures are up 110 from the spring count but down 15% on the last winter count of 184. 

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