Kildare GAA stars to sleep rough on the streets of Naas to highlight homelessness

Hope to raise awareness and funds

Sarah Peppard

Reporter:

Sarah Peppard

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sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare GAA stars to sleep rough on the streets of Naas to highlight homelessness

Paul Cribbin will take part in the sleep-out

A number of past and present Kildare GAA players are to take part in a nationwide 12 hour solidarity sleep-out for homelessness next weekend, spearheaded by 'Gaelic Voices for Change'.

Inter-county stars are hoping to better understand homelessness, and raise funds for worthy causes including the Peter McVerry trust, Simon Communities and Focus Ireland.

Players including Paul Cribbin, Chris Healy and Mark Donnellan are among a number who are going to sleep rough, outside the Town Hall, on Saturday night, December 16. They will also be joined by Morgan O’Callaghan.

Former players Johnny Doyle and Dermot Earley will be lending a hand in the run-up to the night.

Johnstownbridge’s Paul Cribbin explains why he thinks it’s important for the GAA to do this.

“We’re in a very privileged position that we get to represent our counties and we get to do what we love most times and it’s just about giving something back to the community and also we’re kind of on a platform that we’re able to raise awareness and funds. It’s basically about getting a voice from the GAA."

‘Gaelic Voices for Change’, led entirely by volunteers, is organising the event across the country, and is supported by the GPA and WGPA.

Paul adds that there are 8,500 people homeless in Ireland at the moment, and that’s only people that are registered.

“I often think of the homeless leading up to Christmas, especially those people sleeping rough just the conditions they have to bear with. It’s only a small step what we’re doing but even to experience to a certain extent what they’ve to put up with during the night, is something anyway.”

You can offer your support by donating online at gaelicvoicesforchange.com. There will also be charity buckets in Naas on the night. The sleep-out will get underway at 6pm on Saturday evening, and finish the following morning at 6am, Sunday December 17.

If you would like to lend a hand on the night with tea, coffee or food, or donate sleeping bags, you can contact Gaelic Voices for Change on Facebook.