20 Years Celebrating Little Angels - The Opening of the IFA Live Animal Crib, Mansion House Dublin

Everyone is invited to enjoy one of Dublin city’s most-loved Christmas traditions from Tuesday 9th December until Christmas Eve. That’s because the IFA Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House, Dawson Street will be open every day during this period from 11am to 6pm (closes 2pm on 24th December).
The Live Animal Crib is a joint initiative between Dublin City Council and the Irish Farmers’ Association. This year it celebrates its 20th year and is always popular with families and children.
Entrance is free but donations are welcome to the Mansion House Fuel Fund which raised over €16,000 last year for charity. The Mansion House Fuel Fund is one of Dublin’s oldest charities and raises funds for a number of Dublin based charities including St. Vincent de Paul and Dublin Simon Community.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke and the Irish Farmers’ Association President Eddie Downey will jointly open the Live Animal Crib on Tuesday 9th December 2014 at 10.15am at the Mansion House, Dublin 2.
They will be joined by the joyful carolling of “Away in a Manger” which will be sung by the little three and four year old angels from St. Joseph’s Nursery, Maryland, Dublin 8. The angels will be joined again this year by the Lucan Gospel Choir.

Speaking at the opening the Lord Mayor said, “I am proud to continue the tradition of having the Live Animal Crib here at the Mansion House. The Crib symbolises the sentiment of the first Christmas in the heart of Dublin and the animals are a welcome gift from the farmers of Ireland to Dublin for many years. I thank the Irish Farmers’ Association who donate and care for the animals in the crib every year and Dublin City Council’s Housing Maintenance Section for constructing such an excellent stable. I invite all Dubliners and visitors to the city to come to the Mansion House and visit the animals portraying the Christmas nativity scene in the stable.”

IFA President Eddie Downey said he was very much looking forward to the opening of the Live Animal Crib. “It’s my first year to attend the official opening as President, while the Live Animal Crib celebrates 20 years at the Mansion House. IFA is delighted to work with the Lord Mayor in making this attraction available to Dubliners and visitors to the capital between now and Christmas. As a representation of our farming life, we hope the Crib brings joy and excitement, particularly for young families, in the coming weeks. I would encourage everybody to take some time to visit”.

This year Dublin City Council’s Housing Maintenance Section has designed and constructed a brand new life size Crib to house the animals which are under the continuous care of the Irish Farmers’ Association.

For further information contact:
Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277
https://twitter.com/DubCityCouncil www.facebook.com/DublinCityCouncil
Niall Madigan, IFA Press Office: (01) 450 1931/ 086 822 8635

Notes to the Editor:
Dublin City Council is encouraging everyone to use public transport where possible during the Christmas season and don’t forget Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes as well. The IFA Live Animal Crib is one of a host of events brought to you by Dublin City Council throughout this Christmas season. Checkout Dublin’s Yuletide website www.dublinatchristmas.ie for further details.

The Live Animal Crib
The Live Animal Crib has been a joint venture between Dublin City Council and the Irish Farmers’ Association since 1995. The Crib is constructed by Dublin City Council’s Housing Maintenance Section and is a life size stable containing a sheep, donkey and goat. The animals are brought in each morning and returned to a farm on the outskirts of the city each evening. The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also advises with regards to the care of the animals.
The Crib will be open to the public from Tuesday 9th December until Christmas Eve from 11am to 6pm daily (Christmas Eve 11am to 2pm). Admission is free, and any voluntary contributions from the public will go towards the Mansion House Fuel Fund, of which the Dublin Simon Community and the Vincent De Paul are the two main beneficiaries.

The Mansion House Fuel Fund
The Mansion House Fuel Fund was set up by Sir John Arnott in 1891. It was originally set up to assist the needy during a particularly hard winter. At the end of that winter the surplus was carried over to the next year and the Mansion House Fuel Fund has continued to aid the needy in Dublin since. It is one of the oldest charities in Dublin. The Mansion House Fuel Fund distributes cash grants through a number of Charitable Societies, without any distinction of creed. It was one of the first truly Ecumenical Charities in the City.

The Mansion House Fuel Fund is the Lord Mayor’s only personal charity. The Lord Mayor is Chairman of the Fund and is assisted by the Secretary and Treasurer. The committee meets twice a year with the Lord Mayor to determine the level of grants to be allocated to the recognised Charitable Bodies during the winter months. There are no paid staff running the Charity with the only costs incurred being postage and audit. All donations go to those in need.