On Friday night, more than 60 of Ireland’s business leaders slept out under the stars in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens, for what is planned to be an annual sleep-out to raise awareness and funds for Focus Ireland, the housing and homeless services charity.
We’re delighted to report Ireland’s tech sector was extremely well represented, with leaders from the likes of Dell, Fujitsu, S3 Group, Microsoft, Google, Realex, Arekibo, Simply Zesty, and the Irish Internet Association to name a few – as well as Silicon Republic.
Representatives from Focus Ireland also took part in the sponsored sleep-out, including head of fundraising Lisa-Nicole Dunne and CEO Joyce Loughnan, who herself had a long career in technology behind her prior to joining Focus more than four years ago. For many years, Loughnan was a programme director at Fujitsu Ireland, and prior to that worked in IT for financial services organisations in Australia, England, the US and South Africa.
Participants bedded down on the grass in the Iveagh Gardens in sleeping bags with just plastic and cardboard beneath, on what turned out to be a misty but dry night. Coffee, tea, soup and sandwiches were served by the team from Focus’ own coffee shop, who also explained to us a little of what they do, and took numerous questions.
With sponsorship money still coming in, it is believed the initiative should raise up to €300,000 for Focus Ireland, which is looking to double its fundraising this year, at a time when Government support is diminishing.
Focus Ireland’s vision is that ‘everyone has a right to a place they can call home’ and the organisation works to make this vision a reality for thousands of people every year.
It is not too late to sponsor one of the participants, as online sponsorship will remain open for several weeks. So check out the Shine a Light site and see if any of your friends or colleagues were among the team that slept rough for such a great cause.
Photo: Just some of the participants from Ireland’s tech sector in Iveagh Gardens before the sleep-out. (Front row) Justin Keatinge, Version 1; Joan Mulvihill, IIA; Regina Moran, Fujitsu; Ann O’Dea, Silicon Republic; Tracy Glynn, Realex. (Middle row) Niall Harbison, Simply Zesty; Martin Cullen, Microsoft; John O’Brien, S3 Group; Martin Casey, Arekibo; Dermot O’Connell, Dell. (Back) Ronan Harris, Google