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08th Dec 2019

Dublin City Council responds to ‘Warm for Winter’ initiative by removing coats from Ha’penny Bridge

Sarah Finnan

The donated jackets, which appeared on the bridge earlier this week, have been removed.

Dublin City Council has responded to the ‘Warm for Winter’ initiative, asking people not to leave clothes hanging on the Ha’penny Bridge.

Earlier this week, coats were noticed hanging on Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge, appearing alongside a poster reading: “If you need one then please take one. If you want to help, please hang one up #warmforwinter”.

Placed there by kind-hearted locals, the coats were donations to the homeless community to help keep them warm during the cold winter nights.

However, the jackets have since been taken down.

A video originally posted by Ali Nic an tSaoir, has been circulating online, showing DCC workers gathering up the coats and removing them from the bridge.

Onlookers were left shocked and outraged by the incident, with one bystander describing it as “one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen”.

Responding to the initiative, DCC took to Twitter to say:

“Dublin City Council asks people not to hang clothes on the Ha’penny Bridge for health & safety reasons-it reduces pedestrian flows & causes congestion on bridge.

Please consider giving them to charity shops. Items collected by DCC will be redistributed via our homeless services”.

People were quick to point out that passing the coats to a charity shop would incur a cost for the homeless, defeating the purpose of the donations.

There have been calls for DCC to reveal which charities the coats were given to as the public want to verify the claims that the coats have gone to the right people.

Others suggested that a notice letting people know where to go to find the coats would also be helpful.

With many saying that the campaign helped to restore their faith in humanity, the latest turn of events has proven to leave quite a sour taste in people’s mouths.

Anyone wishing to help can do so by donating to charities such as the Dublin Simon Community or the Peter McVerry Trust.

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