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File photo: Bonnie Devereux Lynch, aged 4, visits the live crib in 2018.
live crib

Scrapping of Mansion House live crib a 'progressive step', says animal rights group

Councillors and TDs from across the political spectrum have criticised the move by Dublin’s Lord Mayor.

AN ANIMAL RIGHTS group has criticised the “hysteria” surrounding the axing of the live crib at Dublin’s Mansion House, which it welcomes.

The National Animal Rights Association (NARA) said the end of the three-decade-old annual tradition was a “progressive step for animal rights.”

Green Party Councillor Claire Byrne, sharing the group’s statement on Twitter today, said she fully supported the decision.

Byrne wrote: “Next year will be a Fianna Fáil Mayor and they can bring back dancing monkeys and put a real baby in the live crib or whatever they and Fine Gael think defines Christmas.”

The statement, from NARA spokesperson Laura Broxson, said: “Not using animals for entertainment is something that should be welcomed by all as a more compassionate way to mark the festive season.”

“We have been objecting to the ‘live crib’ for over a decade. Farm animals do not belong in Dublin City Centre.”

“They’re put in an enclosure, on display, where they have no space to get away from people. They are surrounded by lights, noise and hundreds of people staring at them. In 2022, it’s not an acceptable way to celebrate Christmas.

“Despite the hysteria that has been encouraged by certain radio stations and newspapers, we are confident that the majority of people in Ireland don’t find looking at animals trapped in a shed the highlight of their Christmas.”

Government minister Patrick O’Donovan is working to find a new location for the live crib.

The Minister of Office of Public Works, along with a number of Fine Gael councillors, are working on reversing what has been described as a “Grinch-like decision” to cancel the crib this Christmas.

O’Donovan said he will be working with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) on a new location for the crib which attracts thousands of children and their families every Christmas in Dublin.

The IFA worked in conjunction with Dublin City Council each year to organise the live crib.

00076580 File photo of children petting a llama at the live crib Graham Hughes / Photocall Ireland! Graham Hughes / Photocall Ireland! / Photocall Ireland!

Fine Gael will be putting forward an emergency motion for next month’s council meeting that the crib be reinstated.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy told RTÉ’s News at One last week that she wanted to have something more “fun” and “inclusive” outside the Mansion House this year.

She said the decision stands, and work is underway to have choirs outside, as well as a Christmas sleigh where children can get photos and post their Santa letters through a post box.

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