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Landmarks to be illuminated in green to shine light on Samaritans

The charity marks the date to remind those in need that its helpline will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over the festive period.

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Samaritans volunteer Dorothy Ring will be on duty on Christmas Day (Fran Veale/PA)

Samaritans volunteer Dorothy Ring will be on duty on Christmas Day (Fran Veale/PA)

Samaritans volunteer Dorothy Ring will be on duty on Christmas Day (Fran Veale/PA)

Landmarks in Ireland and Northern Ireland will illuminate in green for the winter solstice on Tuesday night to raise awareness of support available for those experiencing dark times over the Christmas period.

Dublin’s Convention Centre, Kilkenny Castle, the Rock of Cashel, Stormont in Belfast, the US Embassy and air traffic control towers will be among the buildings and landmarks lighting up in green to mark Samaritans’s Longest Night.

The charity marks the date to remind those in need that its helpline will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over the festive period, including Christmas Day.

I cannot stress how wonderful it is to be able to connect and empathise for even a small amount of time to help someone get through their dayDorothy Ring, Samaritans volunteer

Dorothy Ring, who has volunteered on Christmas Day for the last 10 years, said: “Christmas is a time when, despite all the hype, some people feel more alone and isolated than ever.

“I cannot stress how wonderful it is to be able to connect and empathise for even a small amount of time to help someone get through their day.

“I volunteer on Christmas Day so I can give my presence and support as a gift to those who need it. It’s very therapeutic and rewarding.

“We want to remind anyone in need of support or a listening ear that we’re here for them 24/7 on freephone 116 123, or by email at jo@samaritans.ie.”

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Samaritans volunteers answered almost 35,000 calls in Ireland last December, with concerns over loneliness and isolation rising.

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Samaritans volunteer Dorothy Ring who will be on duty on Samaritans helpline on Christmas Day. If you’re struggling to cope this festive season call Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie 19/12/2021 Photograph: ©Fran VealeNo Fee PicNo use before 00:01 20th Dec 2021

Samaritans volunteer Dorothy Ring who will be on duty on Samaritans helpline on Christmas Day. If you’re struggling to cope this festive season call Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie 19/12/2021 Photograph: ©Fran VealeNo Fee PicNo use before 00:01 20th Dec 2021

© Fran Veale

Samaritans volunteer Dorothy Ring who will be on duty on Samaritans helpline on Christmas Day. If you’re struggling to cope this festive season call Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie 19/12/2021 Photograph: ©Fran VealeNo Fee PicNo use before 00:01 20th Dec 2021

Niall Mulligan, executive director at Samaritans Ireland, paid tribute to the volunteers for being there for callers throughout 2021, as well as over Christmas.

“Because of the dedication of our volunteers, many people will have someone to talk to if they’re feeling lonely or upset over Christmas,” he said.

“We are also delighted that so many landmarks across the country are lighting up on the Longest Night to show the public we’re here for them when needed most.”


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