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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Wanted: taxi drivers to help give hundreds of kids a special day out in Dublin

The event has been running in Dublin since 1960, offering a fun day out every year for children with special needs.

Taxis taking part in the outing last year.
Taxis taking part in the outing last year.
Image: Dublin Taxi Drivers Special Children's Outing via Facebook

ORGANISERS OF THIS year’s Dublin Taxi Drivers’ Special Children’s Outing are calling on drivers to volunteer to take part on the day.

The event has been in operation every year since 1960, offering a day of fun for children with special needs, as they are driven by the taxi drivers through the city with a garda escort to a party at Leopardstown Racecourse.

Last year around 1,000 children with special needs took part in the event with their carers.

Around 400 taxi drivers have signed up to this year’s event already but spokesperson for the organising committee, Paul Matthews, told that they are reaching capacity of space in the available cars to drive the children and that they are appealing for more drivers to volunteer.

“The more we can get, the more we’ll take,” Matthews said.

Matthews has said that all taxi companies and drivers are welcome to participate on the day and that they can get in touch with the organisers if they wish to get involved.

“The more cars we have puts us in a position where we can go to some of the organisers and say they bring more kids. We can also contact other schools or hospitals that are not currently involved and tell them we have space,” he said.

On the day, children are picked up from hospitals, care homes or private homes by their own personal taxi driver for the day. From there, they are taken to Parnell Square where all taxis gather for a speech by the Lord Mayor and some music from the Garda Band and DJs.

The taxis are then escorted through the city by gardaí to the racecourse where they are treated to music, games, face-painting and finger food.

“Our aim is to treat the special needs children of the city to a fun day out and put smiles on faces. That’s exactly what you get when they arrive in Parnell Square and they’re meeting and greeting the mascots and characters,” Matthews said.

To see the smiles on their faces makes it all worthwhile for us.

Matthews urged taxi drivers to sign up to take part and experience the positivity of the day.

It’s probably one of our only days during the year that’s a positive. We would appeal to taxi drivers for a couple of hours on the day to turn off their metres and get involved.

The Dublin Taxi Drivers’ Special Children’s Outing will take place on 12 September.

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