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Monday 19 February 2018

Taxi drivers go the extra mile as they brighten day for children

Edel O'Connell

Hundreds of children gathered together for the 52nd Dublin Taxi Drivers' Special Children's Outing yesterday.

More than 700 drivers turned off their meters to ferry the 1,400 kids from 40 centres around the capital for a day of festivities at Leopardstown Racecourse.

The children and their carers milled around Parnell Square hoping to meet presidential candidate Mary Davis and RTE presenter Lucy Kennedy -- who attends the event every year -- as a cavalcade of taxis festooned with banners and brightly coloured balloons was launched.

For many children who reside in institutions this is one of the only events they attend each year. A garda escort and the garda band accompanied the convoy down O'Connell Street and on to Club 92 in Leopardstown, where more than 50 more taxi drivers were busy preparing a feast for the special celebration.

This quintessential Dublin event has been making a difference for children with special needs since 1960.

Event organiser and member of the Dublin Taxi Drivers Tom Colgan told how the day out first originated when a woman travelling in a taxi told the driver her child rarely went on outings or day trips.

The taxi driver gathered together a few drivers and they took just five or six children out for the day to Dublin Zoo. The event has gathered momentum since.

More than €14,000 raised this year will be used to buy special-needs equipment for schools and centres.

Irish Independent

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