Monday 23 October 2017

Celebrities put best feet forward for charity auction

Orla Henry trys on runners belonging to Brian O'Driscoll that he sent to St Columbas National school in Glasnevin. Photo: Mark Condren
Orla Henry trys on runners belonging to Brian O'Driscoll that he sent to St Columbas National school in Glasnevin. Photo: Mark Condren
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

A GROUP of primary school students are giving some lucky fans the chance to walk in their idols' shoes.

Students from St Columba's in Glasnevin, Dublin, have gathered over 20 pairs of shoes from some of Ireland's best-known actors, celebrities and sports stars to raise funds for homeless charities.

Inspired by a project piloted by boxing legend Muhammad Ali, 'Shoeless Sunday' takes place at St Columba's Church in Glasnevin next weekend.

The shoes will be put on display before going up for auction in the coming weeks, and all proceeds will be presented to organisations working with the homeless community.

Siobhan Shovlin is one of the teachers from the school and she said the pupils have been "overwhelmed by the response which they have received from the celebrities they contacted".

"We started sending letters four weeks ago, as part of our English class, to various celebrities," she added.

Several sports stars then returned signed pairs of trainers and football boots, including rugby hero Brian O'Driscoll, soccer legend Packie Bonner, and footballer Seamus Coleman.

The Everton star also included a note, congratulating the students on their campaign and encouraging them to "keep up the good work".

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn said he was "delighted" to be involved in the initiative. "I think it is an excellent idea to raise awareness of the issue, particularly this year, as there have been a number of the frontline charities reporting that there is an increase in the number of people rough sleeping and people being challenged with homelessness.

"The rough sleeping count for November this year, the figures were up to 139 having been at 94 before," Mr Quinn said.

Other celebrities that have contributed are actors Chris O'Dowd and Aidan Gillen, as well as the 'Lord of the Dance' Michael Flatley.

Irish Independent

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