€25k raised for food banks in sleep-out at Limerick's Thomond Park

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Mary Howard, Fr Ger Fitzgerald, Jackie Bonfield, Mid West Simon and Munster Rugby’s Duncan Casey, who were all involved in the sleep-out event

Mary Howard, Fr Ger Fitzgerald, Jackie Bonfield, Mid West Simon and Munster Rugby’s Duncan Casey, who were all involved in the sleep-out event

A UNIQUE sleep-out at Thomond Park hosted by Munster Rugby player Duncan Casey has raised around €25,000 for Mid-West Simon food banks.

The sleep-out, which took place in the Thomond Park tunnel, was followed by an evening of entertainment and “thought-provoking” guest speakers.

As part of the night’s entertainment, there was a penalty-kicking competition out on the pitch, with Clayton Hotel sponsoring prizes on the night.

Dr Amy Healy, a Mary Immaculate College expert on food poverty and food expenditure, spoke on the night. “It was very fitting to have someone who is so well-versed in the issue to come in and give us some really interesting and thought-provoking insights into the whole issue.”

He said: “I have been involved with Mid-West Simon for nearly four years now, and I would love to say that the situation has improved steadily over the last while, but the situation seems to deteriorate, month on month.”

He added: “You have to question whether current approaches are effectively tackling it. The evidence would suggest that it is not. But thankfully, we have organisations like Mid-West Simon, who are able to provide services like the food bank and the newly-opened family hub.”

Latest figures show that there are 297 homeless people in Limerick.