A SOUP run operating in Dublin has described the “heartbreaking” scenes witnessed during one of its busiest nights as hundreds turned out in hopes of receiving a hot meal.
The Muslim Sisters of Eire, a woman’s charity group focused on fundraising and helping those in economic hardship, described how they witnessed “one of the worst nights” in recent memory while operating outside the General Post Office (GPO) this past Friday evening.
“We just couldn’t control the crowds,” the Muslim Sisters of Eire wrote 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 continues: “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.”
Volunteers at the charity, which also focuses on “areas of integration” and “interfaith activities", were left shocked at saddened at the situation with meals running out in just over an hour.
This has to be one of the worst nights at the soup run we have ever seen. We just couldn’t control the crowds, it was...
One volunteer described the situation to the Sunday World.
“It was very hard night with the number of people and the sheer desperation. It was just horrible," they said.
"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…It’s men, women, children, whole families. It’s very sad.”
“There were just too many people,” she continued “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."
The original Facebook group has drawn a strong reaction from followers online, with many hitting out at the Irish Government for it’s lack of action in dealing with the mounting levels of poverty seen in the capital.
“That's frightening our government should be ashamed,” one wrote.
“Appalling situation,” another wrote. “You have done great work but the situation also needs a political response from the government.”
A third added: “It's really heartbreaking, we should never be in this situation, successive govts have contributed to this mess.”
The Irish Government has yet to comment on the subject.