A LIVE animal Christmas crib which was cancelled for 2022 is to go ahead at a new location in Dublin City, it has been announced, saving a 27-year-old tradition.
The annual tradition, which has been taking place since 1995, normally saw a live crib take place outside the Mansion House, however, Green Party Councillor and Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy decided this year to remove the live animals element.
Now, following discussions with the Irish Farmers' Association, the Office of Public Works has announced that a new home has been found for the live crib in the Summer House in St Stephen's Green.
This year, the location will provide shelter to a donkey, two sheep, and a goat, gathered around a scene which captures the nativity story that unfolded in Bethlehem over two millennia ago.
Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., welcomed the announcement:
"I am delighted that the OPW and IFA were able to find a location so that the Live Animal Crib can return to Dublin for the 27th year in a row to delight children in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I believe St Stephen’s Green offers an appropriate, sheltered space for the animals and is easily accessible for the public.
"As a parent, I understand how popular this nativity scene with real animals is for thousands of families in and outside the city, and I look forward to its opening on 8 December.”
IFA President Tim Cullinan said he was delighted that the Live Animal Crib would go ahead in Dublin city centre, as has happened every year since 1995.
He thanked Minister Patrick O’Donovan and his officials in the OPW for their commitment to providing a location in St Stephen’s Green.
“The Live Animal Crib is a central part of the pre-Christmas experience in Dublin. It also allows children to see animals in a traditional Nativity scene. The Crib also serves to bring rural and urban communities together,” he said.