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Dublin Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn, centre, ahead of the sleepout last night.
Dublin Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn, centre, ahead of the sleepout last night.
Image: Robbie Reynolds

70 business leaders sleep rough to raise money for homelessness

Each of the people braving the elements last night raised €5,000 for Focus Ireland.
Oct 19th 2013, 5:06 PM 16,266 28

SOME 70 BUSINESS leaders, from grafitti artists to accountants – led by Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn – ditched their warm beds to brave the elements in Dublin and Cork last night to raise money for homelessness.

The businesspeople were sleeping rough in order to raise up to €400,000 for homeless charity Focus Ireland. A total of 54 bedded down in the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin and a further 16 slept in the Cork City Gaol.

The people taking part had just some cardboard and a sleeping bag and they each raised €5,000 for the charity.

Grafitti artist Maser was among those sleeping under the stars – or rather under a bush – in Dublin last night:

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Speaking ahead of the sleepout yesterday, Director of Fundraising for the charity, Lisa Nicole Dunne said:

It’s important to stress that this is not just about the terrible problem of homelessness. It’s also about prevention. The recession is taking a terrible toll on families all over Ireland and nearly 20 per cent or mortgages are in arrears and many thousands of households are struggling to pay their rent. Focus Ireland is working to directly support people in this situation and to try to prevent them from losing their home.

The sleepout is part of a campaign called “Shine A Light 2013″ which got underway yesterday as recent figures show that up to seven new people become homeless every day in Dublin alone. The charity said it urgently needs to raise funds in order for its services to continue.

Read: Dublin Simon Community has only van stolen by thieves>

Read: Two-thirds of Cork’s homeless have mental conditions – report>

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Michelle Hennessy

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