Bono to join stars for online Christmas Eve busk to raise funds for Dublin's homeless

Bono to join stars for online Christmas Eve busk to raise funds for Dublin's homeless

U2 frontman Bono is to join stars including Glen Hansard and Damien Rice in an online busk to raise funds to help Dublin's homeless.

The event aims to raise €1.5m for the Dublin Simon Community to plug a fundraising gap caused by Covid-19.

It is the second year in a row the event has been held online, having been a fixture of Christmas Eve on Grafton Street for more than a decade.

This year's event will be streamed at 9pm on Christmas Eve on the Dublin Simon Community's YouTube, Facebook and Instagram pages.

It will include star-studded performances recorded at St Patrick's Cathedral in the capital.

The event is free to watch, however viewers are asked to make a donation to help the homeless charity.

'Challenging time'

The number of people in emergency accommodation in Dublin has risen for five consecutive months.

"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," said Dublin Simon Community CEO Sam McGuinness.

"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.

"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.

'More homes needed'

"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 organising presents, Christmas dinner and activities like games and movies to recreate what most of us take for granted about Christmas at home.

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

You can tune in to the online busk on the Dublin Simon Community's Facebook, YouTube and Instagram pages.

Donations to the charity can be made by clicking here.