The head of Cork’s oldest charity has said she is “blown away” after a day of music and song in the city centre raised almost €6,000 to help people in need.
Caitriona Twomey, who is co-ordinator of Cork Penny Dinners, said she and her fellow volunteers were thrilled that the Christmas Busking Fundraiser, organised by local musicians and TikTok sensations Dylan Brickley and Korey Power, had raised €5,715.79 for the charity.
The fundraiser, which took place outside Brown Thomas on Patrick Street, ran from 10am on Saturday until 6pm, with dozens of Cork musicians and singers joining in on a day in which thousands of people stopped to enjoy the tunes and to show their support.
Mr Brickley said the atmosphere and been warm and friendly throughout the day, with shoppers and locals full of festive cheer.
“The crowds were unbelievable, with everyone just being really supportive of such a great cause, with the people of Cork giving something back to Penny Dinners, who do such great work with people who are homeless and people who are in need, especially at this time of year,” he said.
“People were so generous with their support, and we had some line-up all day, with artists like Roy Buckley, Nicole Desmond, Goldie Bronson, Garry McCarthy’s Kabin Crew, they were outstanding, Misneach, Trigger, Fionn Brickley, my cousin, myself and Korey, and of course the Cork Penny Dinners High Hopes Choir.”
Ms Twomey, who sang with the High Hopes Choir at the end of the day’s performances, said it had been a very emotional day for the Penny Dinners volunteers.
Up the street, outside Superdry, at the old Moderne building, the Jingle Belles Choir was also, separately, raising money for Penny Dinners, singing Christmas carols and celebrating the season.
Dyane Hanrahan, pushed forward as spokesperson by her fellow Belles, said the choir was a labour of love for those involved.
“We have been rehearsing since October, once a week, and we have over 30 women in the choir, and we’re singing in support of Cork Penny Dinners, and we’re doing it now for 10 years pre-Covid, and of course we had a break of three years where unfortunately we couldn’t sing and now we’re back, so we’re absolutely thrilled,” Ms Hanrahan said.
“We were a bit concerned this year about people not carrying cash, so we got a SumUp machine, and thank God that we did, because so many people are card only,” Ms Hanrahan said.
Ms Twomey said the day had been very special for all involved.
“Today was Christmas wrapped up in the most beautiful packaging with everyone that performed here today, and we would like to thank them all, especially Dylan Brickley and Korey Power for all they did to organise today’s fundraiser.
“The Jingle Belles were out as well, and it’s a very proud and grateful day for us in Penny Dinners,” Ms Twomey said.