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Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste and Drew ó Donnell look at a sheep at the Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House. Damien Eagers

Live animal crib returns to Dublin's Mansion House after last year's move to St Stephen's Green

It was last year moved to St Stephen’s Green following a proposal that the live animal element of the crib be scrapped.

THE LIVE ANIMAL Crib has returned to the Mansion House in Dublin, after having been held in a different location last year.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste launched the annual event today and said “Tradition is such an important aspect of Christmas and for many Dubliners, including myself, the Mansion House live animal crib was always a huge part of that.

“So I am delighted it’s back again this year.”

It was last year moved to the Summer House in St Stephen’s Green following a proposal from former Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy that the live animal element of the crib be scrapped.

The live animal crib had been held out the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, since 1995.

Current Lord Mayor de Róiste added that “farmers always take great care of the animals and that this year will be no different”.

Blessing of the crib 07 Daithí de Róiste, Oliver Taylor, Sadie Browne, and Drew ó Donnell at the Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House Damien Eagers Damien Eagers

Conroy’s proposal to scrap the live animal aspect was partly due to animal welfare concerns.

Irish Farmers’ Association president Tim Cullinan launched the live animal crib today alongside the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

He said the live animal crib has been a wonderful tradition in the run-in to Christmas and added: “It’s a gift from the farmers of Ireland that creates a traditional nativity scene on the forecourt of the Mansion House.”

The crib was blessed by Reverend Paul Arbuthnot of St. Anne’s Church, Dawson Street and Father Enda Cunningham of St. Andrew’s Church, Westland Row. 

The crib will be open to the public from today until Saturday, 23 December from 11am to 5pm daily and from 11am to 1pm on Christmas Eve. 

It’s a joint initiative between Dublin City Council and the Irish Farmers Association and is supported by the DSPCA. 

Animal rights campaigner John Carmody has criticised the live animal crib and said “few animal lovers will rejoice”.

He said the “confused” animals will be outside in freezing temperatures and “endure bright lights, loud music, bustling traffic and onlookers gawking in just a fleeting moment of entertainment”.

He added that the live animal crib is “nothing short of cruel and heartless” and called in councillors to ensure that next year’s crib “doesn’t involve any live animals but statuettes that can keep the tradition in place”.

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