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Annual Grafton Street charity busk with Bono and Glen Hansard to take place online

The Christmas Eve performance will raise vital funds for the homeless community
U2’s Bono (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

U2’s Bono (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

Clodagh Meaney

Bono and Glen Handsard’s annual Christmas Eve busk on Grafton Street is set to take place online this year.

The traditional charity performance aims to raise vital funds for the Simon Community.

As Covid-19 cases rise, the busk has been forced off the streets as musicians try to make a difference for the homeless community.

It will stream exclusively on the Dublin Simon Community’s YouTube channel from St. Patrick’s Catherdral in the city centre.

Bono, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Lisa O'Neill, Cormac Begley, and Liam O’Maonlai will be among Irish musicians at the very special performance.

The stream begins at 9pm on Christmas Eve, Friday December 24th.

It comes as 6,335 are set to spend the festive season in emergency accommodation amid Ireland’s fourth wave of the Covid crisis.

If numbers in emergency accommodation continue on the worrying trajectory of the last few months, at least 6,335 men, women and children will be spending Christmas in emergency accommodation.

“Our staff, nurses, clients and residents are now preparing for Christmas within the fourth Covid wave. As it is, Christmas is an incredibly challenging time for people experiencing homelessness,” said CEO Sam McGuinness.

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“It can trigger childhood trauma, make them think about family and friends they no longer see and serve as a stark reminder of the loneliness and uncertainty of their current circumstances. It’s particularly tough for the single women and men in our services, many of whom have nowhere else to go on the day.”

“Every Christmas at Dublin Simon, our team works to make a special Christmas Day for all our clients and residents by organizing presents, Christmas dinner and activities like games and movies to recreate what most of us take for granted about Christmas at home,” he continued.

“However, the generosity of people this Christmas will more importantly mean that we can provide more homes that are urgently needed.”

Some of Dublin Simon’s services have also been affected by financial uncertainty as fundraising events face being curtailed and cancelled for the second year running.”

“Dublin Simon is famous for on-street Christmas events like the Busk, Sing for Simon and Carolathon and any curtailment or cancellation creates a huge gap in funding for 2022.”

“We are making a special plea to donors on behalf of our clients, residents, staff and nurses to support Dublin Simon in this challenge to keep our doors open this Christmas and into the new year by donating whatever they can at www.dubsimon.ie.”

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