Dubliners in Ireland have been encouraged to hang their unwanted coats on a pedestrian bridge in an effort to keep the homeless warm during the cold winter months.
On Ha’penny Bridge in the city center, dozens of coats and jackets of all shapes and sizes can be seen hanging from the bridge’s railing.
A sign along the walkway says, “If you need one, please take one. If you want to help, please hang one up.”
Patrick Fryers, who is the organizer behind the WarmForWinter campaign, said he was inspired after catching an image that showed jackets wrapped around trees for the homeless in another country. So, he started leaving the articles of clothing last year.
However, the charitable initiative recently hit a snag, the Dublin City Council disagreed and said the items would be removed for health and safety reasons, as well as concern about pedestrian flows and congestion.
Dublin City Council asks people not to hang clothes on the Ha’Penny Bridge for health & safety reasons- it reduces pedestrian flows & causes congestion on bridge.Please consider giving them to charity shops.Items collected by DCC will be redistributed via our homeless services.
— Dublin City Council (@DubCityCouncil) December 7, 2019
Although the coats were removed, he returned to the bridge the next day with 50 more jackets to hang up, Fryers said.
“I have to say I was pretty angry that the jackets where taken down under ‘health and safety’ issue when the country is crying for the health and safety of our nation’s homeless,” Fryers told Fox 32 Chicago. “#Warmforwinter was never contacted from the DCC in relation to the jackets and we still don’t know what charity the DCC claim they have given the jackets to.”
Fryers and his supporters of the movement will continue dropping off coats despite the pushback from the city council.
The number of burgeoning homeless in Ireland, it reached more than 10,500 in October, The Irish Times reported.