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Simon sleep out at Thomond Park

Mid West Simon will host its inaugural corporate sleep out at Thomond Park, Limerick on Saturday, November 12. The group is aiming to raise funds to support its work and it is also focusing on raising awareness of the homeless situation in the region. “While many of the statistics that are reported in the media are Dublin-centred, we have an equivalent problem in the Mid-West. As in the rest of the country, building in the Mid-West came to a complete standstill during the recession and we are now seeing the results, which is a dramatic shortage of affordable accommodation,” Mid West Simon general manager Jackie Bonfield said. In 2006, 93,419 houses were built nationally but by 2014, the number of new house builds had reduced to 11,016. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) notes Ireland will have to build 25,000 residential houses per year in order to cope with the housing crisis. “Consecutive governments have relied on the building …

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Fr Ger sleep-out to focus on poor

IN a gesture of solidarity with the poor, Ennis priest, Fr Ger Fitzgerald will be spending the night outside a rundown apartment block, beginning at 12midnight up to 7am on Christmas Day. Fr Ger will rough it at the Fairways Apartments, near Ennis Hospital, as part of what he hopes will be the first of many initiatives in the coming year, which will see a closer union between the Church and the poor. He sees it as part of the Church’s attempts to do what Pope Francis has demanded and go out into the streets and meet the poor and those in need. He has asked the public to remember him in their prayers that night and welcomes anyone interested in joining him for an hour or half an hour in solidarity. “In particular if you can play a musical instrument or tell a good story,” he said. Outlining the reasons behind this initiative, Fr Ger said, “Last March, when …

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