By Sarah Mac Donald - 04 September, 2020
Trócaire, the Catholic bishops’ aid agency, has announced it will close its Dublin city centre office to offset a drop in footfall and income.
In a statement on Thursday, Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra said the agency recently reviewed the sustainability of the Dublin office but came to the “unfortunate but necessary decision” that the centre, which has been in operation since 1983, is no longer viable.
“Our Cathedral Street office used to function as a hub for teachers and students seeking material on development and humanitarian issues, as well as for supporters to bring in donations. However, the external environment has changed over recent years and both footfall and income were down by almost 50% over the last five years,” Caoimhe de Barra said.
She explained that Trócaire’s educational resources are now accessed mostly online and many of the agency’s supporters, who in the past would have visited Cathedral Street, are now donating by post, phone or online rather than in person.
“This trend has been underway for a number of years and will likely accelerate due to the Covid-19 crisis.”
The Trócaire CEO added, “We have an obligation to ensure we are using our resources as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
“We will continue to engage with parishes and schools across Dublin through our church and education teams in Maynooth, and we will engage with our valued supporters to ensure they have the information they need to stay connected with Trócaire.”
Supporters who would usually send donations to Cathedral Street are requested to now send them to Trócaire’s Maynooth headquarters instead. “Every donation towards our vital and life-saving work is highly valued,” the head of Trócaire said.
The development agency supports nearly 3 million people in some of the world’s poorest countries. Its current focus is responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in the 20 countries in which it operates.
Earlier this year Trócaire warned it was facing a funding crisis due to Covid-19 which made it difficult to collect its Lenten boxes during the Lockdown.
The Irish charity usually collects up to €7 million in the appeal but said that due to the pandemic’s associated restrictions it looked likely to see a 60% drop in its income.