Press Release

“No one should wake up on the cold streets this Christmas morning” – Merchants Quay Ireland launches Christmas appeal

“No one should wake up on the cold streets this Christmas morning” – Merchants Quay Ireland launches Christmas appeal


Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI), the national homeless and addiction charity, has today called on the public to help make sure no one wakes up on the streets this Christmas, as it launched its Christmas appeal.

The charity said its Night Café emergency shelter, which is open throughout Christmas, provided more than 2,000 safe nights’ sleep during the Christmas period in 2018 and expects to see similar demand this year.

MQI provides hot meals, showers, and health care for people who are homeless, with around 250 people attending its Open Access Service every day.

The loneliness and isolation that accompanies homelessness at Christmas exacerbates many of the challenges faced by people living on the streets, and people presenting to MQI over the Christmas period are some of the Ireland’s most vulnerable.

Padraig, a Merchants Quay Ireland client said:

“Christmas is tough.  I’ve been homeless for two years, I’ve slept in cars, on streets, and there’s nothing worse than feeling alone. It’s cold, there’s nobody around, nobody to talk to. It used to be me making the Christmas dinner, my family around me. When you’re homeless, all you have is memories that play back in your mind like a film.

“Merchant’s Quay has picked me up and put me back on a level playing field. Nothing will ever make me say that this place isn’t worth every penny that’s donated. If I could give one message to the public, it’d be please help. It could be you out there someday.”

Merchants Quay Ireland CEO Paula Byrne said:

“Christmas is the hardest time to be homeless. It can be very lonely, with long nights and freezing weather. We’re asking the public to support our Christmas appeal so we can we make sure people with nowhere else to go are safe and warm this winter.

“So much of what we treasure at Christmas – family and friends, warmth, home – is simply not available to people living on our streets. No one should wake up on our cold streets this Christmas morning.

“The people who come to Merchants Quay Ireland at Christmas do so because they are alone. They often have no contact with their family and no home to call their own. They have nowhere else to go. Your support will help us keep people safe and warm this winter”.

You can help support MQI’s work by going to


For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson or MQI client, please contact:

Tom Sheppard
Communications Co-Ordinator
Merchants Quay Ireland
T: 01 531 2958
M: 086 7793 206

Twitter: @MerchantsQuayIR

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