The Live Animal Crib has officially opened in St Stephen’s Green and will be open to the public until Thursday, December 22nd.
The Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan and the IFA President Tim Cullinan performed the official opening at the Summer House this morning.
Fionn Sherlock is carrying on the tradition of his grandfather John and his granduncle Joe Gallagher who have supplied the animals since the custom of the Live Animal Crib began in 1995.
The Summer House is a National Historic Property in the care of the OPW, and is located on the north-eastern side of the Green (near Kildare Street). The animals will be tended to onsite every day by their owner and will return to their farm in Wicklow each afternoon.
Members of the public will not be able to enter the Summer House, but will be able to see the Live Crib from the external protective rails. Animal welfare is paramount and the shelter in the Summer House has been installed in line with the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council’s Guidelines.
The Dean of Christchurch Rev Dermot Dunne and Father Gary Chamberland from the Notre Dame-Newman Centre performed a blessing.
Children from the YMCA crèche on Aungier St dressed up as angels and joined in song with the Lucan Gospel Choir.
Minister Patrick O’Donovan said: “We were happy to work with the IFA to help find a new home for the Crib and to ensure the continuation of this lovely family tradition in our capital city. It offers an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the nativity story over the next few weeks and I hope families will come and enjoy this and the other wonderful festive activities organised in the city this winter.”
IFA President Tim Cullinan encouraged families to come and visit the Crib between now and Dec 22nd. “We chose today to open the Crib as it signifies the connection between rural and urban communities. The Live Animal Crib is a gift from the farmers of Ireland to the people of Dublin.”
“It’s a wonderful part of the tradition in Dublin before Christmas. It’s worth taking a few minutes away from the bustling streets to the calm of St Stephen’s Green to see the Crib and Nativity scene,” he said.
See gallery below: