Following a one-year hiatus, the live animal Christmas crib returns to Dublins Mansion House on the 6th December. The crib features Daisy the donkey, Peter and Paul the sheep and Lily the goat gathered around a scene depicting the nativity. The animals come from the family farm of Enniscorthy Marts, Fionn Sherlock.
The crib which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, was last year moved to St. Stephens Green after the then Lord Mayor, Green Party councillor Caroline Conroy, objected to it, citing animal welfare grounds.
The current Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste, announced its return this year: ‘I have spoken to the Irish Farmers Association, who for so many years have been a key part of this tradition, and they have confirmed to me that they are also delighted that we are bringing it back for Christmas 2023. I know that the farmers always take great care of the animals and that this year will be no different.”
Fionn Sherlock who is assistant manager at Enniscorthy Mart and is featured on South East Radios mart report, says he is delighted to see the crib going ahead as usual this year as it has been a family tradition since his childhood:
“We are very much looking forward to going back to the Mansion House this year. My grandfathers brother, Joe Gallagher, started it back in 1996 and then my grandfather, John Gallagher took over in 2003. I spent my childhood going in and out and helping to look after the animals for the live crib.”
Following his grandfathers passing last year, Fionn and his twin sister Aoife have taken over the organisation of the crib and welfare of the animals. He outlined the level of care that the animals receive when taking part in the annual event:
“It’s a big part of the Christmas tradition. The animals are all part of our family farm in Enniskerry. A lot of people question the welfare of the animals but they are all well looked after, they all belong to myself. The animals don’t stay there, they come home to the farm every night.”
Mr. Sherlock went on to thank all involved for making it possible to make the move back to the Mansion House this year :
“I want to say a big thanks to the IFA and the Lord Mayor for getting it back into the Mansion House, its a great location. We are really looking forward to getting going and it runs all the way up to Christmas Eve.”
The blessing of the Live Animal Crib, supported by the Lord Mayor, the IFA and the DSPCA, will take place on December 6th and it will run up until December 24th.