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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Coats on Ha'penny Bridge could save someone's life, says organiser

On Saturday, Dublin City Council said that the coats would be removed for health and safety reasons.

File photo - the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin.
File photo - the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin.
Image: Shutterstock/Tupungato

THE MAN BEHIND an initiative to hang coats on the Ha’penny Bridge for homeless people has pushed back against Dublin City Council, after it said that clothes would be removed for “health and safety reasons”. 

Paddy Fryers, who has called the initiative #warmforwinter, told RTÉ News that he would still be hanging coats on the bridge. 

Fryers, who is from Monaghan, said it was “pretty simple”. 

“Take one if you need one, leave one if you have one,” he said. “We’ve all got our old winter jackets from last year or two years ago that we might have worn for two months and then put in a drawer and never looked at again.”

He said these items “could potentially be the reason someone makes it through one of the coldest nights of the year”. 

“We have seen before people are dying on the streets due to the cold,” he said. “What’s the matter with hanging on a bridge so someone can get it?”

Over the weekend, Dublin City Council asked people not to hang clothes on the bridge for health and safety reasons. 

The council said that it had removed the coats and jackets hung on the bridge by members of the public. 

It said that they will be redistributed through the council’s homeless services

A spokesperson said the decision was made “based on health and safety concerns, in order to avoid obstruction and congestions occurring along a key pedestrian artery, crossing the River Liffey”. 

“It is the city council’s duty to protect the public and prevent accidents from occurring on this footbridge, through any restrictions in pedestrian flow, particularly at this time of year when thousands of people use this bridge on a daily basis,” the council said.

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