19 December 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Michael Flatley – who maintains a home at the impressive Castlehyde House, near Fermoy, North County Cork – has launched a campaign that will support those in homelessness this Christmas. He is urging everyone to put their best foot forward and has launched a special #FlatleysTapForTen challenge which aims to raise badly needed funds for Depaul Ireland.
Depaul is an all-island charity that helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It is amongst many charities have battled to help the vulnerable in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and the worst economic downturn for over a century.
“FlatleysTapForTen” revolves around a person posting a 10-second dance video clip across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. Participants can involve footwork to their favourite music or simply their preferred dance floor routine. They can then nominate their friends, family, and followers to post a clip of their favourite dance skills. They can also make a donation to the charity initiative online through www.gofundme.com/f/flatleystapforten. All funds raised will go directly to the charity.
Commenting on the initiative Michael Flatley said: ‘’Christmas is coming quickly and it’s getting cold outside. It breaks my heart to see so many people living on the street. Families, children, young and old. This virus has had a devastating effect on people’s lives and it has been worse for the homeless in Ireland and elsewhere. We must all pull together and try to help get families off the street for Christmas. I am asking for the help of the community to help those in need.”
“While we are focusing on dance, clearly everyone is not able to dance, so we will welcome donations from wherever we can get them. If we manage to put a roof over one person’s head this Christmas, we will have achieved something special. Even the smallest donation will help.”
David Carroll, CEO, Depaul Ireland said: “We are delighted to team up with Michael and be part of his TapForTen campaign to support those experiencing homelessness. Depaul has been at the forefront of the efforts to protect vulnerable individuals and families experiencing homelessness during Covid.
“We urge everybody to get involved with the campaign and to help support vulnerable people this Christmas. For those experiencing homelessness Christmas can be a particularly hard time. Not having a home or family or friends to spend time with can be difficult. Our staff will be there to ensure nobody spends time alone this Christmas.”
Depaul has supported over 1,200 individuals during the Covid period and set up additional services to help protect the most vulnerable. At present the charity is providing support to 235 ‘shielding’ beds which are been used to protect the most medically vulnerable living within the homeless population. The charity says these efforts have saved lives during the pandemic.
Depaul was established in 2002 in Ireland and 2005 in Northern Ireland. It is now a leading cross-border organisation. Its focus is upon those suffering homelessness and marginalisation that need vital support and the opportunity to realise their true potential. It offers support and guidance to break the cycle of homelessness, and assists its service users in making positive choices for their future. Depaul shares close links with the SVP as one of its founding partners but they are a separate charities addressing homelessness. https://ie.depaulcharity.org/
Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley is a noted charity campaigner. The Chicago-born dancer has hosted special Christmas parties for vulnerable children at his home in north Cork and, in 2003, received a special award from the Prince Rainier of Monaco for his support of various charities.