independent

Thursday 15 November 2018

Rough sleeping Men's Shed crew raise €900 for homeless

Patrick Murphy, Brian Delaney, Ger Roche, Dylan Roche and John O’Leary (front) taking part in the New Ross men’s shed sleep out in aid of the ‘Shine A Light’ night for Focus Ireland
Patrick Murphy, Brian Delaney, Ger Roche, Dylan Roche and John O’Leary (front) taking part in the New Ross men’s shed sleep out in aid of the ‘Shine A Light’ night for Focus Ireland

David Looby

The sheer discomfort of sleeping outdoors rang home with eleven New Ross people who took part in the Shine A Light campaign for Focus Ireland at New Ross Men's Shed headquarters in Irishtown.

The brave eleven comprised ten New Ross Men's Shed members, including Sonny Sinnott whose wife Eileen volunteered to take part. They gathered with flattened cardboard boxes, sleeping bags and soup to stave off the cold on a bitterly cold night.

Brian Delaney of New Ross Men's Shed was one of the brave eleven. He said he won't be forgetting the experience any time soon, 'We set up camp at around 11.30 p.m. At around 3 a.m. the wind started picking up and the rain got very heavy so we went inside and had some soup to warm ourselves up. We came in to the building at 5.30 as it to too cold. People started leaving to go home at 6 a.m. as they didn't want to run the risk of getting sick. It was absolutely brutal and it opened a lot of people's eyes to what it must be like to be homeless. We got very little sleep, maybe 15 minutes out of sheer exhaustion.'

The group sat on flattened cardboard boxes, wrapped up in sleeping bags and still felt the ravages of the autumn weather.

'The cold came up through the cardboard and into the sleeping bags and our bones. Imagine what it's like when the snow and the frost comes. It'd be a completely different reaction for the body. Homeless people tend to sleep during the day and walk around at night for fear of being attacked.'

The hardy eleven raised around €900 for Focus Ireland.

New Ross Standard

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