desperate for food | 

Muslim Sisters of Eire say they 'ran out of meals' after massive crowd turned up at GPO soup run

“We had 580 meals and we ran out of meals. We’ve never seen anything like that in our lives," the charity group said.

A picture of people posted on the Facebook page of the Muslim Sisters of Eire

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A soup run that has been operating outside Dublin’s GPO has said they endured “one of the worst nights” they have ever seen on Friday with huge numbers turning up hoping for a hot meal.

“We just couldn’t control the crowds,” the Muslim Sisters of Eire posted on Facebook. “It was like a stampede at the table. The volunteers were getting frightened.

“We had 580 meals and we ran out of meals. We’ve never seen anything like that in our lives. The only way we could control the crowds was by calling the gardai to help us.”

The post ads: “We had seven security and still had problems controlling the people fighting to skip the queue to get the food.

"Imagine being so hungry and desperate for food! Heartbreaking.”

Muslim Sisters of Eire is a women’s charity group that focus on “areas of integration, interfaith activities, fundraising & helping those in economic hardship”.

Their website adds: “We are an independent organisation of mainly Muslim women living in Ireland. We are a voluntary organisation with the purpose of providing support to women (Muslim women in particular), encourage integration and work together to benefit the wider society.”

Speaking about the numbers that arrived at the soup run on Friday night, one of the volunteers revealed how the meals were gone in just over an hour.

“There were 300 plus people there last night,” she said. “It was very hard night with the number of people and the sheer desperation. It was just horrible.

"And the numbers are growing. We’ve been there for five years outside the GPO but every night of the week there are soup runs out there. And I think it’s fair to say we’re not the only soup run that has seen the numbers growing.

“It’s men, women, children, whole families. It’s very sad,” she added. “The problem pre-Covid was easing a bit where we were doing probably 200 meals in one night and at a push 250 meals.

“There were just too many people,” she added, referring to Friday night. “They were hungry and upset at the situation. People are tired and they frustrated. They’re more than a year in lockdown.

"The poverty (levels) have grown and I don’t think the Government are looking into it or the housing situation or the homeless situation. And now we have a new poverty that we call Covid poverty. It was unbelievable last night.”

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