Solidarity sleep-out in Naas raises thousands for homelessness

Kildare GAA stars slept rough to raise awareness and funds

Sarah Peppard

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Sarah Peppard

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sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

Solidarity sleep-out in Naas raises thousands for homelessness

Morgan O’Callaghan, Mark Donnellan, Tom Corley, Eamon Murphy, Jason McGahan, Shane McCormack, Paul Cribbin, Damien Hendy, Chris Healy, at the sleep-out on Saturday, December 16.

An unofficial approximate figure of €3,500 was raised from a 'Gaelic Voices For Change' 12 hour sleep-out for the homeless in Naas town last Saturday evening (December 16), from the charity buckets alone.

A number of past and present Kildare GAA players took to the streets of Naas to raise awareness and funds for charities such as the Peter McVerry trust, Simon Communities and Focus Ireland.

'Gaelic Voices For Change' is run entirely by volunteers, and the event was organised nationwide, supported by the GPA and WGPA.

The Allenwood choir provided entertainment at the start of the evening.

Johnstownbridge's Peter Cribbin was one of those who slept rough, outside the Town Hall, from 6pm-6am.

“People in fairness were very generous, basically anybody that walked by more or less donated. 

“Luckily enough it didn’t freeze, the only thing it did pelt down rain for about an hour and a half at about half 4, so that was an experience anyway. 

“So we really did get the real-life experience of being homeless.”

Paul added that it was an eye-opener for everybody who took part.

“During that last hour it was really a period of reflection for everyone that was doing it because it was quiet, there wasn’t much traffic going by, there wasn’t many people on the street, that kind of hit home effect of what it’s like.

“The main thing was to raise the awareness, but the money that was raised has been something fierce, I’m not sure what the national figure is but it looks like it’s going to supersede €200,000, so it’s extraordinary.

"Even for the Kildare contingent we know there’s been a lot of money raised, between €10,000- €20,000 so it was phenomenal the support we got, both online and on the night itself.”

It is estimated over 8,000 people are currently homeless across Ireland.