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Charities team up as homeless get together for festive feed

MORE than 28 hams, 1,800 chicken breasts, 3,000 slices of bread and 20 pallets of crisps numbered among the generous donations to an annual Christmas dinner for the homeless and needy.

It was a touch of military precision and more than a sackful of goodwill that helped ensure more than 400 guests enjoyed a traditional Christmas Day dinner at the 87th annual meal organised through the Knights of Columbanus at the RDS in Dublin.

This year organisers deemed it a sign of the times as they noticed demand was far stronger for takeaway meals for people in need to have in their houses.

Adrian King, chair of the Christmas Day dinner, said more than 1,400 meals -- up from around 1,200 in previous years --were delivered through various charities, including St Vincent de Paul, Simon Community, Alone and Dublin City Council.

Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, greeted guests, including immigrants.

He said the number of people on the streets was undoubtedly on the rise and that the response was increasingly going to fall on voluntary organisations in this period of cutbacks.

Irish Independent