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Shining a light for the homeless


Westport man organising Dublin event for the homeless this weekend

Cory Kilbane

Westport native, Padraic Rocliffe (pictured), will take to the streets of Dublin this Sunday, December 7, to try to shine a light on the severity of the homelessness situation that our capital city is home too.
A physical education student at the University of Limerick, Padraic has organised an event called ‘Homeless Heroes’. After being involved in a car crash in the US last year where he broke his neck, back and foot Padraic, had to spend last Christmas away from home.
Ten months into his rehabilitation, he went out to a Las Vegas diner on Christmas Day. After coming across a homeless woman and her son outside, Padraic invited them in for lunch and heard their heart breaking story.
Motivated, recovered and back home in Ireland, Padraic decided to organise an event in aid of the homeless this year.
“Basically what we’ll be doing is giving out hats, scarves, gloves, socks, coats, jumpers, t-shirts, perishable food, hygienic or cleansing items etc. We literally have everything so we are just going to take over Dublin for the day and try and get as much as we can to the homeless directly into their hands,” he told The Mayo News.
Currently a large number of people have signed up to help out and Padraic is welcoming everyone to come along and take part.
“It’s looking like from the University of Limerick, there’ll be maybe 30 or 40 students ,and at least another 20 from Dublin. The numbers are looking great.
“I’d like if people could shoot me off an email if they’re going to come so I could get an idea numbers wise. But if people show up there’s no problem either.
“We’re looking for strength in numbers to really shine a light on the homelessness situation that there is in Dublin and indeed in these peoples lives,” he explained.
“If people are coming we would like them to take something with them as well cause there is only so many donations that I have and people who donate will want to donate their own stuff.”
Donations can be made in a few locations across the country also.
“We’ve got three donation points at the minute. We’ve one there in Westport which is through my mother and father, so when people call or email, I will direct them to my parents.
“We’ve another one their in Higgins Off-License in Clonskeagh in Dublin across from University College Dublin and another one here in the Students Union in the University of Limerick. It’s great, donations have been coming in all week,” he said.
Meeting point will be at the Spire in Dublin City Centre at 1pm. The volunteers will then break up into groups of four and five before they take over Dublin to shine a light for the homeless.
If interested in attending or making a donation, contact Padraic at padraicrock@gmail.com or phone 0857362563.