SIPTU Announces Event For Children And Families Affected By Homelessness

Trade union SIPTU is to host a "day of entertainment" next week for children and families affected by the homelessness crisis.

The event, to be held at Liberty Hall in Dublin on Monday, 07 May at SIPTU's headquarters, is part of the union's MayFest calendar of events celebrating workers' culture.

The 'Family Day Out' is being organised in association with the housing and homeless charity Focus Ireland which is issuing invitations to families through its network.

The second annual MayFest Dublin festival takes place from Tuesday, 01 May until Sunday, 13 May, with a programme that includes a variety of fun and entertaining events, as well as others dealing with current topics of importance, including housing, Palestine and the drugs crisis.

Among these are a performance of 'Enough' on Friday, 04 May, a new play by Joe Byrne which deals with the impact of drugs on an inner-city family, and 'Social Fabric', a display of banner art from political campaigns and the trade union movement.

Among those attending the 'Family Day Out' event will be leading sports stars, including Dublin All-Ireland winning footballer, Alan Brogan, who will bring the Sam Maguire Cup with him, and FAI National Women's Football Team player, Karen Duggan. As well as games, the children will also enjoy a movie, entertainment and refreshments.

Announcing the initiative, SIPTU General Secretary, Joe O'Flynn, said: "The 'Family Day Out' in Liberty Hall is about giving tangible support and some respite to families who are suffering the most due to the housing crisis. It is also about highlighting the scale of this emergency as it affects children, with over 3,000 officially classified as homeless and many tens of thousands more in families struggling to maintain adequate accommodation."

Director of Advocacy at Focus Ireland, Mike Allen, said: "This is about providing the children of families who are living in emergency accommodation, and their parents or guardians, an opportunity for a little fun. It is also about reaffirming the call by the National Homeless and Housing Coalition for immediate action by the Government to end this crisis."

The 'Family Day Out' and other MayFest events in Liberty Hall are being sponsored by SIPTU, Fórsa trade union and a number of other organisations. Fórsa Deputy General Secretary, Kevin Callinan, said: "We are delighted to be working with SIPTU on MayFest, which is about celebrating and giving practical expression to the best traditions of the trade union movement. It is a fantastic programme of events that presents the values of trade unionism in a novel and entertaining way."


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