herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Jay's celebrity friends support annual sleep-out for homeless

Jay Duffy and his school-mates from Belvedere College have slept rough outside the GPO for the last two nights to raise money for homeless charities.

This year marks the 31st year of the annual charity sleep out and Jay (18), the son of Boyzone's Keith Duffy, has been roping in his celebrity connections to raise awareness.

Kodaline entertained the boys and celebrities Ryan Tubridy, Gay Byrne and Brendan Gleeson posted pictures of themselves with details of how to donate.

One Direction's Niall Horan tweeted his support which temporarily crashed the site.

"I'm fortunate to know a few people and I'm really thankful for everyone who has posted their support online," Jay told the Herald

"It's all about awareness. We want to raise funds, so the more people who know, the more money we will be able to raise."

The boys are hoping to beat last year's record and raise over €143k for Focus Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust and Home Again.

"It was rough, I didn't get much sleep - about an hour and a half," Muiris O Murchadha said. "We are doing one last push so we can try and get that figure up."

Businesses have been keeping the boys warm and fed since Sunday.

"Starbucks sent over some coffee yesterday morning, which was great to wake up to," Jay said.

They boys admit that sleeping out has made them appreciate home comforts a lot more.

"We'll all be a lot more grateful for our Christmas dinner on Thursday," Bobby McGonigle said.

"It's just a small insight into what it's really like to be homeless," Jay added.

hnews@herald.ie

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