A ‘Mercy’ Christmas challenges us to ask whether we have done enough to make peace, to help relieve poverty, hunger, homelessness and the plight of refugees.
As the country prepares to welcome refugees, we are "challenged to engage with the poverty, homelessness sub-standard accommodation that many are living in".
Last year, students raised €183,000 for homeless charities and this year's sleep-out is to aid Focus Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust and Home Again.
“The Taoiseach recently said the elimination of child poverty was a moral imperative for any government. Yet child poverty rates in Ireland are a national scandal."
“When a family with 3 children under the age of 5 are sleeping outside in a park somebody needs to hold their head in shame and resign. A heartbreaking sight.”
“We are satisfied that Mother Jones, if she was alive today, would have been very proud of Fr Peter for his ability to highlight the social injustice of homelessness.”
Demand for the centre’s services this year is “at its highest since the charity’s inception in 1969” and it hasn’t received any increase in government funding since 2007.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to the Lord Mayor and his staff and to the many organisations working in this area of homelessness for what they have achieved in a short time."
Rough sleeper count in Dublin showed 59 people were sleeping rough in Spring 2011; now it is estimated to be 150 in Dublin and up to 224 people nationally.