Black Santa returns to Dublin city centre out of season and for Ukraine

Plans to turn city centre church into support centre for refugees from the war

Dawson’s Street’s Black Santa, who has usually only appeared outside St Ann’s Church there in the lead-up to Christmas over this past 21 years, will make a special appearance there this week to help the people of Ukraine.

As they continue to flee war at home, Black Santa will be back on the street this week, from Tuesday until Saturday next, to raise funds for the support of the refugees arriving here.

Volunteers will be outside the church collecting between 10am and 5pm each day and Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson will officially launch the appeal on Wednesday at 1pm.

Following consultation with community representatives locally, and those working with refugees from Ukraine in the Dublin 1 area, the Church of Ireland intends transforming the St George and St Thomas's Church on Cathal Brugha Street into a centre to support those who have arrived here.


It also plans to sponsor a priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition to provide pastoral and liturgical ministry to Ukrainians who have been displaced to Ireland.

A Ukraine appeal was launched during Holy Week in parishes throughout Dublin and Glendalough dioceses. St Ann's has responded by mobilising their 'Black Santa Sit Out' out of season.

This annual event became known as the Black Santa appeal because of the long heavy black cloaks worn by the clergy taking party to keep out the winter cold. Over the 21 years that the appeal has been running in Dublin, St Ann’s has raised well over €750,000 for local charities.

A donation button will be available on the St Ann’s website for people unable to make it into the city centre to donate in person.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times