Europe

St Vincent de Paul celebrates 175th anniversary with commemorative plaque

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) celebrated its 175th anniversary in Ireland today with the unveiling of a plaque at the site where the first meeting of the charity took place.

More than 50 representatives of SVP and members of the public braved the gusty conditions of Storm Atiyah to attend the outdoor unveiling at Ormond Building in Charles Street West, Dublin.

It was at this site on December 16, 1844 when seven men, including two clergymen, held a meeting in the Parish of St Michan to plan the introduction of the SVP in Ireland.

The following year they went on to establish five branches throughout Dublin.

Now 175 years later, SVP is one of the best known and widely supported charities in Ireland with over 11,500 volunteers and 1,200 Conferences active in every country.

Since its foundation, the Society has provided help and support to those most in need, through the famine in the 19th century, two World Wars, an uprising, a Civil War and cycles of economic austerity.

“Sadly today, we still see poverty in many different situations and circumstances’’ said SVP national president Kieran Stafford.

“There are almost 750,000 living below the poverty line including 100,000 people at work; record numbers of homeless; 50pc of lone parents experiencing deprivation and 61pc of families struggling with education costs.

“We know and meet the people behind the figures every week bringing friendship and support,” he said.

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