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  • Northside West

Santa Van brings the big man right to your door

Friday, 24th November, 2017 7:59am
Santa Van brings the big man right to your door

Demi-Eve O’Callaghan and Freya Hopkins meet Santa Claus in the Santa Van.

Santa Van brings the big man right to your door

Demi-Eve O’Callaghan and Freya Hopkins meet Santa Claus in the Santa Van.

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Adam Daly

IRELAND’S first ever Santa Van was launched last week by Ross Kelly from Dublin 8 and Dessie Melon from Drumcondra and it’s set to put an end to those long, frustrating lines to see Santa in shopping centres. 

According to Kelly the idea came to him while waiting two and a half hours with his children to see Santa last year. 

‘’I was in the queue with my twin girls and my nephew, who is autistic,” he said.

“It just popped into my mind that there has to be a better way to see Santa for the kids than standing in a queue for two hours. So the slogan that we go with is ‘skip the queue, get Santa to come to you’. “

The Santa Van that comes to you is festively decorated inside and out and aims to cater to everyone from crèches, primary schools and youth clubs to private parties, with two professional Santas working for on the van already.

Because of the cost of running the Santa Van there has to be a minimum of ten children when hiring Santa for a private party, but this encourages a Christmas atmosphere according Kelly says. 

‘’The family get together to see Santa, which is a good thing because families don’t really do that anymore. So we encourage that,’’ he said. 

When the children get to see Santa they get two toys, a polarized photograph and a certificate to say that they've been placed on the nice list, all included at €14 per child. 

The van is in operation until Christmas Eve, with most weekends in December booked out already. However there is the possibility of a second van starting if popularity increases. 

The Santa Van covers the whole of Dublin but will travel further if there are enough kids to cover the cost but ’’Santa doesn’t run on reindeer dust unfortunately’’ laughs Kelly.

Kelly’s business partner, Dessie Melon, believes the idea could really take off.

“We’re taking a chance this year, and it’s a big investment, but if it works out we could have a fleet of Santa Vans on the road next year,” he said.

“There’s already been a lot of interest. I think parents are under a lot of stress at Christmas to get the Santa visit in, so this could create a new, even better tradition for families without all the hassle of organising a day out at the busiest time of the year.”

Bookings for The Santa Van can be made through their Facebook and Instagram pages. See


Ross Kelly with the Santa Van. PHOTOS: DARREN KINSELLA

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here