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Saturday 25 January 2020

Celebrity pair turn over a new leaf for the homeless

Aisling Bea posed with Chris O’Dowd and the new book
Aisling Bea posed with Chris O’Dowd and the new book

A children's Christmas book released to raise funds for homeless charity Focus Ireland has just been given the seal of celebrity approval.

Hollywood star Chris O'Dowd and Aisling Bea posted a picture of the pair holding new book How Will Santa Find Us?, which featured on the Late Late Toy Show.

The Living With Yourself actress said they both loved the book, which she described as an "alternate family Christmas tale".

Written by Shane O'Brien and Stephen Rogers, it brings together the work of nine of Ireland's top illustrators to tell the tale of an Irish family who become homeless just before Christmas.

As they move around from one temporary place to another, their parents try to distract them by inventing stories about their latest lodgings.

The two writers started their work after seeing the picture of Margaret Cash sleeping in Tall-aght Garda Station with some of her children after losing their home.

Worries

They have since been housed, but the latest statistics put the homeless figure at around 10,500 people, nearly 4,000 of whom are children.

Stephen's partner Priscilla Kotey said: "He reads a bedtime story to our son Evan every night and he thought a bedtime story would be good because it's at that moment you really talk to your child about their day and their worries.

"It's a great time to teach them lessons - that there are some boys and girls in the world who may not have what you have.

"He also wanted to give hope to any homeless children that Santa would find them."

Distributed by Gill Books, the release is flying off shelves, with proceeds for Focus Ireland.

Focus services manager John O'Haire said it was "shocking" to think more than 10,000 people are homeless, adding: "It's heartbreaking when you realise that almost 4,000 of them are children."

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