Words: Ellen Kenny
Hundreds of sleeping bags left behind at Electric Picnic are now being given to homeless people in Dublin.
Volunteers from Portlaoise Action to Homelessness (PATH) are giving sleeping bags left at EP to people in need in Dublin, RTÉ reports.
Following the end of the festival, volunteers collected the hundreds of sleeping bags left behind and are now travelling to Dublin twice a week to distribute them to people sleeping rough in Dublin.
According to PATH committee member Irene Redmond, the group have collected between 500 and 600 sleeping bags from EP: “This should get us through the winter and hopefully into spring.”
Irene explains that PATH have recruited volunteers from Portlaoise to help distribute bags in Dublin. Members of the local community have volunteered to collect sleeping bags, wash them, and travel to Dublin to distribute them.
One volunteer, Orla Hayden, told RTÉ, “I think it’s disgusting that people are living on the streets. Winter is coming and it’s going to be very hard.”
Breda Byrne explained her reasons for volunteering in the cost-of-living crisis: “At least I can go home to a home. I know it’s going to cost to wash them – a bit more than it would normally. Definitely, the electricity. You can see it already. The heating. You definitely know people are picking between heating and eating. That’s not just a saying. It is really happening”.
One business woman, Natalie Redmond, volunteered the washing machines in her hair salon to clean the sleeping bags: “The washing machine and dryer is going here the whole time anyways. To me, a couple of extra washes, what difference was it going to make for the help that it’s going to give them.”
Along with sleeping bags, hundreds of passports, bank cards, phones and keys were left behind at Electric Picnic. All valuable lost items can be collected at Stradbally Garda Station.
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