With assurances that animal welfare will be 'paramount'.
In October of this year, it was announced that the live crib at Dublin's Mansion House would not be going ahead for the first time in 27 years. At the time, a DCC spokesperson said that the council and the Lord Mayor wanted to "create a new experience that will allow children to be part of the scene rather than just looking at it".
Following the announcement, a debate ensued surrounding the cancellation with calls to save the crib, while some argued that it was wrong to use live animals as entertainment.
Fast forward to now and the Office of Public Works have announced that live crib has found a new home, at the Summer House in St Stephen’s Green.
Following discussions with the Irish Farmers’ Association, it was decided that Stephen's Green could offer a calm setting for the farm animals, and for families to bring their children to view the crib in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The Office of Public Works have said that animal welfare is 'paramount', and that the shelter in the Summer House will be installed in line with the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council’s Guidelines. According to the OPW, the animals will be tended to onsite every day by their owner and will return to their farm in Wicklow each afternoon. Members of the public will not be able to enter the Summer House, but will be able to see the Live Crib from the external rails.
Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., said: “I am delighted that the OPW and IFA were able to find a location so that the Live Animal Crib can return to Dublin for the 27th year in a row to delight children in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I believe St Stephen’s Green offers an appropriate, sheltered space for the animals and is easily accessible for the public. As a parent, I understand how popular this nativity scene with real animals is for thousands of families in and outside the city, and I look forward to its opening on 8 December.
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