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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

Taxi drivers 'badly' needed for this year's special children's outing

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 in 2000.
Taxis taking part in the outing in 2000.
Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

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

The event has been in operation since 1960, offering a day of fun for more than a thousand children with special needs, as they are escorted through the city to a party at Leopardstown Racecource each year.

Last year around 500 drivers took place but a spokesperson for the organising committee told that it was not sufficient to take all of the children on the day and that they “badly” need more drivers to volunteer.

“What we really need is more wheelchair accessible cars because we never have enough of those,” the said. “We end up, unfortunately, having to say “sorry, we can’t take them” and this year we want to take as many kids as possible.”

On the day, children are picked up from hospitals, care homes or at private residences by their own personal driver for the day and are taken to Parnell Square where all taxis convene for a speech by the Lord Mayor and some music from the Garda Band. The taxi convoy is then given a special garda escort through the city to the racecourse where there is music, games, face-painting and even food cooked by the taxi drivers themselves.

The spokesperson said that Dublin drivers have been working hard, since losing their sponsor three years ago, to raise money with various events including a charity kayak across the Irish Sea planned for the end of this month.

“We’re looking for a new sponsor now so that we can continue with this every year and of course we’re always delighted with donations from the public,” they said.

The Dublin Taxi Drivers’ Special Children’s Outing will take place on 10 September.

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