Speaking at the opening of the IFA Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House in Dublin today (Tues), IFA President Eddie Downey has encouraged people to visit the Crib over the next fortnight. “As a gift from the farmers of Ireland, we hope the Crib brings joy and excitement, particularly for young families. It is also an opportunity to support the Mansion House Fuel Fund, which helps the homeless at this time of year.”
Eddie Downey said, “With so much focus on the homeless issue, we hope that Dubliners and visitors to the capital will assist the charities that do magnificent work for those who have fallen on difficult times. IFA, on behalf of our members, has made a donation to Focus Ireland this year, and as is traditional the Association will provide turkeys to the St Vincent de Paul hostel in Back Lane in Dublin”.
The angels aged three and four from St. Joseph’s Nursery, Maryland, Dublin 8, which are a central part of the opening of the Live Crib, sang Christmas carols at the Mansion House. The angels were joined again this year by the Lucan Gospel Choir.
Speaking at the opening the Lord Mayor, Cllr Christy Burke said, “I am proud to continue the tradition of having the Live Animal Crib here at the Mansion House. The Crib symbolises the sentiment of the first Christmas in the heart of Dublin and the animals are a welcome gift from the farmers of Ireland to Dublin for many years. I thank the Irish Farmers’ Association who donate and care for the animals in the crib every year and Dublin City Council’s Housing Maintenance Section for constructing such an excellent stable. I invite all Dubliners and visitors to the city to come to the Mansion House and visit the animals portraying the Christmas nativity scene in the stable.”
Admission is free, but donations are welcome to the Mansion House Fuel Fund which raised over €16,000 last year for charity. The Mansion House Fuel Fund is one of Dublin’s oldest charities and raises funds for a number of Dublin-based charities including St. Vincent de Paul and Dublin Simon Community.
The Live Animal Crib is a joint initiative between Dublin City Council and the Irish Farmers’ Association. This year it celebrates its 20th year and is always popular with families and children. The IFA Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House will be open every day (8th-24th Dec) from 11am to 6pm (closes 2pm on Christmas Eve).