Iarnród Éireann and Focus Ireland launch #HomeForChristmas 

Wild Youth and Dublin Gospel Choir to bring some early festive cheer

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Iarnród Éireann has teamed up with Focus Ireland for the 6th successive year to launch a new campaign to raise vital funds to help more people to make it #HomeForChristmas.

The campaign will see Iarnród Éireann support the charity in a number of ways including providing an innovative online option for the tens of thousands people a week buying a rail ticket to donate €4 to Focus Ireland with the purchase of a rail ticket. 

Iarnród Éireann will again provide free advertising at stations nationwide for Focus Ireland along with welcoming Christmas choirs to fundraise for the charity at a number of stations nationwide. The partnership was launched today in Heuston station (Dublin) by Wild Youth and Dublin Gospel Choir who brought a bit of early festive cheer to commuters.

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “As thousands of people a week head on the train from a regular day at work or from shopping, they are making a journey home.  This is something which is not possible for everyone across Ireland. Focus Ireland, with the generous support of Iarnród Éireann, are committed to changing this.”

He added: “There are now nearly 11,000 people homeless, it is truly heart breaking to see that almost 3,500 of these are children. It is truly shocking that we are now seeing babies being born into homelessness, with many spending their first Christmas with their families in a cramped hotel or B&B room. We must always remember that behind these shocking statistics are real people that need our help to secure a place to call home. Over the next few weeks, I am asking rail users to please give what they can afford to support our urgent Christmas appeal. We really do depend on donations now more than ever to raise funds so our services can cope with the constantly rising demand.”

Iarnród Éireann Corporate Communications Manager Barry Kenny, said: “This #homeforchristmas initiative will raise vital funds to help in the successful delivery of frontline services and housing for people experiencing homelessness, as well as helping to build further public awareness on this issue and support for the work of Focus Ireland.  During December, choirs, musicians and volunteers will be in Dublin Heuston as well as stations nationwide to raise funds and awareness and we are asking if commuters have any spare change while passing through that they donate this.”

Irish Rail is also sponsoring this year’s concerts taking place in Christchurch Cathedral on December 19th & 20th  featuring the Dublin Ukulele Collective, Mundy, Balbriggan and Fingal Gospel choirs and many others.

Please go to https://www.focusireland.ie/donate/ and make a difference or call 1850 204 205.

Featured Image: Pictured is Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan with Wild Youth and Dublin Gospel Choir who brought a bit of early festive cheer to commuters. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland

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