Dear Santa... Eamon's wish list for sick children
Santa didn't let on whether he'd been naughty or nice this year. But when Eamon Dunphy visited Santa's grotto yesterday, top of his Christmas wish list was a special festive day out for sick children.
The outspoken journalist brought his daughter Collette and grandson Braiden with him to help publicise an event which allows children to escape from the pressures of living with a serious illness.
Braiden is one of hundreds of children in Ireland who suffer from a life-threatening congenital heart defect.
Next Monday more than 45 sick children, their parents and carers will be whisked away on a special 'Christmas Day Out in Dublin Town'.
The excursion is run by the Heart Children of Ireland, a charity that raises money for the cardiac unit at Crumlin Children's Hospital and the Mater Hospital Dublin.
Six-and-a-half-year-old Braiden underwent surgery at Crumlin this year.
Dunphy showed some of his famous combative spark when he brought up its struggle for money.
"They raise funds for things that they really should be getting from the State. They are being forced to close wards, there are all kinds of cutbacks affecting these kids and they are very sick kids," he said, adding "It's shocking really."
The young boy's plight has led his grandfather to become the main patron for the Heart Children of Ireland. On Monday next he will join the charity on its day out as families visit the Natural History Museum, the Wax Museum and, of course, Santa's Grotto.
Dunphy will end the day in the nightclub Lillies Bordello where he'll be joined by Ryan Tubridy, Miriam O'Callaghan and a host of others for a fundraising night.
All the proceeds will go to the Heart Children of Ireland and €20 tickets can be bought on the door, or by ringing Lo Call 1850 217 017.