'It's not just about food, it's about company' - Restaurant opens doors to homeless for event this Christmas
An Offaly restaurant has decided to open its doors to those in need on Christmas day, by providing a full dinner and event for homeless people and vulnerable families.
Derek Coyne and Declan Gorman, co-owners of the Bakehouse Café in Tullamore, made the decision to provide locals who have no other place to go with a Christmas dinner after discussing the issue with local politician Ken Smollen.
"We have previously worked with Chairperson of the Irish Democratic Party, Ken Smollen, to provide food for the homeless, so this just seemed like the next logical step. We will be coming in from around 12pm to 4pm. It's not just about food, it is about having company during what can be a lonely part of the year.
"We will be providing a full dinner, but we can't believe other people's generosity since the word got around. People have offered to provide labour, to pay for gifts and provide entertainment," Derek said to Independent.ie.
Mr Smollen publicised the event on his Facebook page. This post has since gone viral and inspired another Tullamore restaurant, Café India, to open on the day.
Other non-food related businesses have offered to pay for children's gifts, give time and provide entertainment after seeing the post.