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Glen Hansard takes part in the annual Christmas Eve busk on Grafton Street, Dublin, in aid of homeless charity, the Simon Community Evan Treacy/PA
Singing Along

Thousands of Dubliners gather to watch annual Christmas Eve charity busk

Singer-songwriter Glen Hansard led the festivities with a tribute to the late Shane MacGowan.

MORE THAN A thousand Dubliners gathered on Grafton Street this afternoon to watch musicians during a fundraiser for a local homelessness charity.

Singer-songwriter Glen Hansard led the festivities by singing A Rainy Night in Soho in tribute to recently deceased Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan.

The members of the crowd, dressed up in festive garb and donning Santa hats, sang along as different buskers who normally perform in the area took the stage to sing covers of a range of other well known songs, including Zombie by The Cranberries.

Dublin Simon staged the 12th edition of its annual Christmas Eve Busk outside the iconic Gaiety Theatre near Grafton Street.

Busy last-minute shoppers took a break to watch and contribute to the donation drive, on one of the charity’s busiest fundraising days of the year.

Hansard said it was an honour and a blessing to be performing at the free outdoor gig.

“What this is all about is singing a few songs to raise some money for shelter for people, brothers and sisters.”

He added: “I’m so grateful to everybody who shows up every year and what they bring is just phenomenal.”

Children clambered onto parents’ shoulders, bins and trees to get a better view as Santa Claus himself encouraged onlookers to dig deep for those who may be sleeping rough on the cold winter night.

At one point, a member of the public joined Hansard on stage to fill in on the drum set for a performance of The Frames’ hit Star Star.

Singers included well-known names like Imelda May as well as some also Dublin Simon service users.

Members of the public were asked to donate on

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