Live crib animal ‘looks just like Donald Trump’

Mansion House crib delights children as Luas-dodging farmer brings animals in daily

Dressed as angels, children from St Joseph’s Nursery sing Christmas carols outside the Mansion House for the opening of the Irish Farmers Association’s live animal crib.


The boys of St Joseph’s CBS National School in Dublin’s Fairview took the live crib outside the Mansion House on Dawson Street in their stride.

One noted astutely that the donkey there was “not the same as the one in Shrek. He has more colours”.

It was true. The donkey in the crib is so many shades of black and brown unlike Eddie Murphy’s monochrome Donkey.

Another commented “he looks just like Donald Trump”, though it was not clear whether the animal referred to was either the donkey, his dark goat companion, or one of the two lambs in an adjoining pen.

Fionn Kilfeather, who is nine and in third class, was somewhat impressed.

“It’s actually pretty nice,” he said.

“I thought it’d be laid out like an actual crib . . . I actually like that it’s an actual stable . . . kind of,” he said.

His seasoned eye was no doubt coloured by a visit to “Newbridge farm” where he “had been there, done that”.

Farmer John Gallagher brings in the animals from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, every morning before the crib opens at 11am and back every evening after it closes at 5pm. This continues until Christmas Eve, when it closes at 1pm.

Passing trams

“I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Luas now too, ” he said as a tram passed by on Dawson Street.

There was no talk of trams there when the live crib began in 1995.

Donkeys, he said, like company, but they hate the rain.

“They’re not like horses. There’s no oil in a donkey’s hair.”

He believes donkeys were brought to Ireland by the English army in the Middle Ages.

People associated them with good fortune, he said, and many believed the cross-shaped markings on a donkey’s back and shoulder were a reminder of the donkey which carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Irish Farmers’ Association deputy president Richard Kennedy said the live crib was evidence of the “co-operation between Dublin and the country, farmers and city people, and it gives kids a chance to come and see the real live animals”. The IFA was “delighted to be involved. It’s a great event,” he said.

There is no entry fee to see the crib, but donations are collected for the Lord Mayor’s Fuel Fund, which delivers food parcels, toys and fuel for people who might need it.