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  • Northside West

Christmas ‘Joy for senior citizens

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 6:00pm
Christmas ‘Joy for senior citizens

Lord Mayor Nial Ring (centre) with Deputy Governor Donnacha Walsh (left) and Governor Eddie Mullins.

Christmas ‘Joy for senior citizens

Lord Mayor Nial Ring (centre) with Deputy Governor Donnacha Walsh (left) and Governor Eddie Mullins.

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Ryan Clarke

THE Bohemian Foundation put on their annual senior citizens Christmas dinner in Mountjoy prison recently, and Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring, was there to help them celebrate.

The event, which has been steadily growing over the last few years, is aimed at bringing senior citizens inside Mountjoy to help de-stigmatise prisoners who have shown a desire to rehabilitate themselves before they are released.

The Christmas dinner was made and served entirely by a team of prisoners who work in the kitchens.

The atmosphere in the dining room was laid back, with conversation flowing everywhere you looked – the prisoners laughing and joking with the senior citizens the whole time.

This is the sixth year that the Bohemian Foundation has put on the event, and the numbers attending have steadily grown over the years.

Initially, it was just a small group from Cabra who were later joined by a group from Finglas and this year locals from Ballybough Court Senior Citizens Centre also attended.

After dinner there was a singsong with the old folks, who were in fine voice, joined by Mountjoy Governor Eddie Mullins and the Lord Mayor.

Governor Mullins highlighted the importance of being able to show senior citizens that the prisoners are capable of turning their lives around.

“This event is about bringing everyone from the community in to show the good work going on here,” he said.

“The fun that people are having tonight is fantastic, and to be able to show them we’re not all monsters in here is brilliant. This is true rehabilitation.”

Speaking after the dinner, Olive Tucker and Marie Nolan, who were attending for the first time this year couldn’t speak more highly of the whole event.

Both ladies praised the behaviour of the prisoners throughout the evening while adding that the food was “lovely.”

After seeing how well the night went they agreed that they could only see more people wanting to take part in the future.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring was also gushing in his praise of the dinner and the work of the Bohemian Foundation. 

“What Thomas Hynes and the Bohemian Foundation are doing, in terms of reaching out to the community is fantastic,” he said.

“The Foundation does stellar work in preparing prisoners to reintegrate into the community after their release and tonight was just another example of that – everyone was a winner in this situation tonight.

“It was a fabulously organised event and huge thanks must go to Mountjoy, the prisoners who made the food and the senior citizens from around the area who had a fantastic night.”

The Lord Mayor addresses the seniors at the dinner.

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