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File: Bonnie Devereux Lynch aged 4 visiting the crib in 2018.
live crib

Lord Mayor says Mansion House will have crib this Christmas but will not include live animals

Caroline Conroy said the council is aiming to “make the experience better this Christmas”.

DUBLIN’S LORD MAYOR has said that there will be a crib at the Mansion House this Christmas, but that it will not include live animals. 

Addressing a meeting of Dublin City Council this evening, Caroline Conroy said that there will be a Christmas sleigh and children’s choirs alongside the crib, but reiterated her position that there will be no live animals.

“I’d like to reassure people that what we are aiming to do is to make the experience better this Christmas,” she said.

“There will be a crib at the Mansion House this Christmas. The only difference is that there will not be live animals, but what’s exciting is that there will be more than just a crib.”

She added that some reports that there would not be a crib at the Mansion House at all were “erroneous”.

It comes after Fine Gael put forward an emergency motion for this evening’s council meeting calling for the crib be reinstated.

The live crib has been outside the Mansion House on Dawson Street since 1995.

Speaking last month, Fine Gael Councillor James Geoghegan said that “not even the Grinch would ban this loved Christmas tradition”. 

“We have to overturn this and look for a new location – perhaps St Stephen’s Green. We know times are tough so we want to ensure children and their families have a Christmas crib to visit in Dublin,” Geoghegan said.

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”.

Government minister Patrick O’Donovan said he will be working with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) on a new location for the live 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.

Last month, the National Animal Rights Association (NARA) welcomed the decision to stop using live animals in the crib, saying the end of the three-decade-old annual tradition was a “progressive step for animal rights.”

In a statement, 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.”

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