Dubliners rage over ‘Grinch like’ plans to axe much-loved Christmas feature
- 17:40, 28 Oct 2022
- Updated: 21:42, 28 Oct 2022
THE Lord Mayor of Dublin has been compared to the ‘Grinch’ after deciding to axe the live crib at the Mansion House.
The live animal display has been a feature on Dawson Street for 27 years and attracts thousands of children and their families every Christmas in Dublin.
However, Dublin Lord Mayor and Green Party Councillor Caroline Conroy, proposed last night to the city council’s protocol committee that the live crib be replaced.
Lord Mayor Conroy said she wanted to replace the crib with a more interactive display.
The move has outraged Fine Gael councillors, who say they are working to reverse the “Grinch like decision to cancel the live animal Nativity crib in the capital this Christmas”.
The reference is to Dr Seuss character The Grinch, known for his efforts to sabotage the festive season.
Cllr James Geoghegan, along with Fine Gael colleagues and and the Office of Public Works Minister, Patrick O’Donovan, will put forward a motion for next month’s council meeting that the crib is to be located elsewhere in the capital.
And Fine Gael Minister Patrick O’Donovan said he will be working with with the Irish Farmers Association – which was involved in managing the crib and caring for animals – to find a new location for the crib.
Minister O’Donovan said; “Children suffered enough over the last two years having to live with Covid and wondering would Santa and Rudolph manage to get to their homes with lockdowns and restrictions. Let them enjoy this Christmas.
“Let’s have a Nativity crib in the capital city for all children to visit. There cannot be a scrooge like agenda from any council for children at Christmas time.
“I’ll be working with my Fine Gael colleagues and all councillors on Dublin City Council to save the crib.
“They’re banning donkeys and sheep from outside the Mansion House but there simply has to be room elsewhere for them this Christmas.
Cllr James Geoghegan, Fine Gael’s group leader on Dublin City Council, said they will be submitting an emergency motion to the local authority to overturn the decision at their November 7 meeting.
The crib has been outside the Mansion House on Dawson Street since 1995 and has been credited with attracting families to the capital.
Cllr Geoghegan said: “Not even the Grinch would ban this loved Christmas tradition.
“We have to overturn this and look for a new location – perhaps St Stephen’s Green. We know times are tough so we want to ensure children and their families have a Christmas crib to visit in Dublin.
“The Lord Mayor of Dublin has decided after 27 years to cancel the live animal crib outside Dublin’s Mansion House. Fine Gael councillors will submit an emergency motion to force a U-turn on this decision.
“There has been no public debate on this issue whatsoever and it is not appropriate that this decision was taken by the Lord Mayor behind a closed-door meeting of councillors.
“The next Dublin City Council meeting is on the 7th of November, and we will be submitting an emergency motion to overturn this decision.
“We are calling on the Lord Mayor to allow preparations for the live crib to continue until all elected members of Dublin City Council have had their say.
“I have contacted Minister O’Donovan to see what could be facilitated and we will be working together to save the Nativity crib. St Stephen’s Green, if possible, would be a fine location.”
Protocol brought in during the pandemic meant that animals could only be viewed through a Perspex screen.
Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Cllr Conroy said that while the live crib had been “great to look at” and had been well-organised by the IFA and the DSPCA, it had not been fully interactive with children having to look at the animals from a distance.