Developers and dragons descend on Dublin docks in aid of Simon Community

Dragons at the Docks event aims to raise more than €300,000 to help house the homeless

Cairn Homes chief executive Michael Stanley was dunked for charity at the 2018 Dragons at the Docks event

Fourteen of Ireland’s biggest property companies are coming together as sponsors of this year’s Dragons at the Docks event with the aim of raising more than €300,000 for Dublin’s Simon Community and other local charities.

The now-annual fundraiser will return as a physical event to Capital Dock in the city’s south docklands on Thursday, September 1st, after two years of virtual events during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since its launch in 2017, the Dragon races have raised more than €1 million for charity, with almost €700,000 going to the Dublin Simon Community. The funds raised have helped to purchase 23 homes, allowing 26 adults and eight children to move out of homelessness and into permanent housing. The funds raised in 2022 could provide enough money to support the acquisition of about 10 new homes

Dublin Simon Community uses a funding model whereby every €25,000 provides enough capital to secure the acquisition of a one-bedroom apartment. It is then able to finance the balancing amount via loans which are repaid through the housing-related income support (such as HAP) that is available to the occupant. This model has proven effective in providing permanent, safe homes for people and families who have experienced homelessness. Seventy-five per cent of the funds raised this year will go to the Dublin Simon Community, with the balance to be distributed to local charities in the Grand Canal Dock area.


When the first Dragons event was held in 2017 there were six anchor sponsor companies, 60 teams and 720 participants. This year the event is aiming for a record participation of 84 teams and over 1,200 participants.

The number of anchor sponsors has more than doubled since 2017 with the following 14 companies now involved: Activate Capital, Avestus, Ballymore Group, BCP, Cairn Homes, Dalata, Glenveagh Properties, Henderson Park, Hibernia Reit, Hines, Ires Reit, Kennedy Wilson, Lioncor and Quintain

Boats will launch from Capital Dock, Dublin 2, for an afternoon of racing. A team will comprise 11 competitors (10 rowers and a drummer), and each team member will receive a race pack, team T-shirt and entry to the after-race barbecue and entertainment.

Speaking about the event, Sam McGuinness, chief executive of Dublin Simon Community, said: “The Dragons at the Docks event organisers and participants have shown great enthusiasm and support over the years to help us acquire badly-needed homes for people experiencing homelessness. This ambitious new fundraising goal will give even more people the chance to rebuild their lives and move out of homelessness into safe and secure homes. Dragons at the Docks is now one of Dublin Simon Community’s essential annual fundraising events.”

More information can be found at

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times