Limerick primary school pupils brave cold for homeless

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Pitching in and their tents: Pupils and teachers of Martinstown National School show their solidarity for the homeless

Pitching in and their tents: Pupils and teachers of Martinstown National School show their solidarity for the homeless

KIND-HEARTED County Limerick children gave up watching cartoons in their cosy sitting rooms to sleep out for the homeless.

On a wintry Wednesday evening the boys and girls of Martinstown NS pitched their tents in the yard for two hours. Sixth class pupils, Clodagh Davis and Conor Leahy jointly penned a piece on their experience for the Leader.

“We wanted to get a taste of what it feels like to sleep outdoors. After this we understood a lot more about what it is like to be homeless. One of our staff members, Louise Doherty, made chicken and vegetable soup for everybody.

“Tents were set up and we all brought an assortment of blankets, sleeping bags and pillows for comfort. No electronics were used but we did bring cards, board games or knitting for entertainment. We strongly recommend that we all make an effort to help the homeless,” wrote Clodagh and Conor.

Each pupil was given a sponsorship card to collect money from friends and family and they have amassed €1,580. Principal, Brian Fitzgerald said they wanted to raise awareness and funds. Since the idea was mooted he said the children have been talking about homelessness amongst themselves.

“You see how upset they get when they realise that somebody is out on the street and that person doesn’t have a home to go to - that’s their life,” said Brian, who has been in touch with homeless agencies in Limerick city for advice. They plan to bulk buy towels, toiletries, hats, scarves, socks and make up packs for those living on the streets.