Friday, 21 April 2017 18:16

Brother Kevin Crowley: Capuchin Day Centre, Dublin

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 The Task Is Immmense. The Job Is Extremely Rewarding But Not in Monetary Terms. No Politican Would Apply.

Capuchin Day Centre, Dublin, Headed Up By Corkman, Brother Kevin Crowley, O.F.M. Provides Courtesy, Dignity And Food To Thousands Of Dublin Citizens Every Year.


The early 21st century Irish Celtic Tiger caused great misery and pain to countless Irish families and picking up the fall out pieces was left to a few minority groups and leading the way for people needing a helping hand with the basics of life, is the renowned Capuchin Day Centre, Dublin.

Brother Kevin Crowley, O.F.M. a West Cork born Capuchin stands daily where only the brave would enter and he speaks a language that is extremly foreign to the vast majority of Irish politicians and senators.

He tells the truth. The truth as it should be told.

He doesn’t court microphones or cameras but through his immense charity work, newspeople chase him down for interviews.

However the stern reality is that the Capuchin Day Centre, at 29, Bow Street, Dublin, is far from a ONE MAN SHOW.

A quick glance at the cooking agenda every day, the huge organisation of acquiring the food, preparing and cooking for approximately 800 people on a daily basis (Sunday excluded) requires a mammoth team effort.

Leading the team is Brother Kevin Crowley, who has lived his life in the service of the Capuchin Order and is renowned for his daily dedication to the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin city for people in need since 1969.

At we are very mindful that Brother Crowley is not overly interested in Hall Of Fame Galleries but for current and future generations of Irish people, the exceptional work ordained by the Capuchin Friar and his team at the Capuchin Day Centre, is worthy of promotion and preservation.

The category of our Irish Heritage Website applicable to the Capuchin Day Centre is “Champion Community Volunteers” @ All Ireland Hall Of Fame @

Our profile of the Capuchin Day Centre and their incorporation as “Champion Community Volunteers Of Ireland” in our Irish Heritage Website, is recognition and appreciation of the services provided at the centre since 1969.

Through our national and international Irish Heritage Website, directed to Irish people; our Irish exiles and people of Irish ancestry, we bring to our browsers and readers, a true lifetime story of immense daily dedication, carried out to help people who appreciate help when their lives are not as fluent in prosperity as they would wish.

Dublin is Ireland’s largest city and it is also the city with the largest number of social problems. Homelessness in 21st century Dublin took on a whole new meaning as a consequence of outrageous mismanagement of Irish government affairs at the turn of the 20th century.

Not a single politician or senior executive civil servant became homeless.

It was the troops in the trenches that bore the blunt of cut backs and the misery inflicted resulted in hundreds of Dublin residents seeking assistance at the Capuchin Day Centre.

Food is the lifeline. Without food people will die of starvation as they did in the two great famines of Ireland.

The 1845 Famine is historically documented in our history books and the song “I bade farewell to dear old Skibbereen” echoes the awful tragedy of that period of Irish life.

The 21st century famine is really only experienced by people at the coalface who offer food, advice and welfare, to people coming through their doors.

At the Capuchin Day Centre, Brother Kevin and his troopers witnessed hundreds of new arrivals in search of daily survival and the waiters/waitresses who served dinners on plates every day, were not welcoming new waiters from the government canteens or bars to help out.


There is no room for greedy people at the Day Centre and Ireland’s political corridors is overflowing with greedy people, people who live in big houses and enjoy huge benefits sitting on tribunals and earning lavish expenses to beef up handsome political salaries.


The need for the Capuchin Day Centre will not dissipate at the dawn of a new and bright Irish Celtic Tiger. In the current climate that has existed for almost a decade, thousands of Irish men, women and children took the emigrant planes to far away places and for those stuck in their homeland, many Dublin residents owe a great gratitude to the Capuchin Day Centre. They also owe a deep gratitude to the many volunteers who threw out lifelines all over Ireland.


Capuchin Day Centre: Facts & Figures


Founded: 1969

Founder: Brother Kevin Crowley

Located at: 29, Bow Street, Dublin 1

In 1974, Kevin started a day shelter for people in need in Bow Street, central Dublin. Since then, thousands of people have been nourished, doctored and cared for by the dedicated staff and volunteers.


The Service: These are quotes from interviews.

On any given day, except Sunday, the place is buzzing with people having breakfast or lunch, socialising, or having their physical or emotional needs met. On Wednesdays, food parcels are handed out - no questions asked.


On a recent summer's morning, men and women collected blue plastic bags containing tea, milk, bread, butter, cheese slices, tins of beans and desserts called 'Pots of Joy'.


It was very much a case of "there, but for the grace of God, go I.


We facilitate men and women of all ages, nationalities and religions, some well-dressed and nicely spoken. Many were keeping their head down - wanting to remain in their own private world for whatever reason.

It can't be easy being homeless, hungry or unemployed.

Brother Kevin said -  they come here from all walks of life.

"We have ex-doctors, ex-solicitors, ex-accountants,".

The biggest problem now is the number of people left stranded by the 21st century recession.

"These are the 'New Poor',".

"They have already lost their jobs and are on the verge of losing their homes.

Four years ago, we gave out 400 food parcels a week - now it's about 1,700.

The Irish recession has caused all these problems, and what is heartbreaking is seeing so many young families queuing for food parcels. Some of these families are being put up in hotel rooms.

They cannot afford hotel food and there is no chance of living a normal family life.

Following the banking collapse in 2008, numbers attending the centre almost doubled. In 2015 alone, 8,000 children attended the service for meals.

Six days a week, the head chef and our team feed around 600 people twice a day. Once a week, they get a full-Irish for breakfast, while a lunch would offer shepherd's pie, vegetables, fruit and a coffee or tea.


Donations are the financial heart beat. In fundraising there are no middle agents employed on commissions, simply because the principle is, that all monies donated go directly to the source for which they are intended.


The annual associated costs to run such a major charity are well in excess of two million euro and in a recent newspaper interview, it was revealed the government contribute €450,000.


Editorial Comment:

The catastrophic recent Irish recession heaped great misery on Irish people but not on the salaries and perks of government people. Whilst decent and honourable Irish families were evicted from their homes, there was no evictions for government TD’s and Ministers.

Huge redundancy perks were put on a plate but not on the plates of charities who feed daily the needy and poor of Ireland.


Using the words needy and poor should be avoided if at all possible. This is a social classification in the same manner applied to people of senior citizen status.


People who find it necessary to avail of the daily hospitality of Brother Crowley and his team are assured of respect and admiration when they enter the Capuchin Day Centre.

 Classifications are not tolerated. And while the physical needs of the city's poor are met, it happens in an atmosphere of utmost dignity and respect; No person who walks through the doors of the centre is judged, No matter what their circumstances.


As we enter another summer season of 2017, the weather and the nightly temperature may be more kind than the winter season just passed. People will still be sleeping on Irish streets, in doorways and on footpaths around Dublin and other major Irish cities and demand for the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin, becomes endless.

There is little immediate prospect for homeless people simply because people in good employment cannot afford to get into the first stages of home ownership.

The Irish government have again permitted house builders, auctioneers, landlords and financial institutions, to repeat the financial mayhem that visited the Celtic Tiger.

Ireland is once again leading down a huge path of insolvency in the housing market. Young people, decent people, need a new and vibrant Ireland without ‘Johnny Promises’ politicians waffling about our re-invention, courtesy of their prudent watch over us.

Doing your work without financial rewards and daily perks brings volunteers such as Brother Kevin Crowley to the heart of everyday issues that destroy human dignity.

On behalf of Irish people all around the globe, this is an acknowledgement and “Thank You” to Brother Kevin Crowley, a native Corkonian, who has made Dublin his home and founded the Capuchin Day Centre on behalf of the people of Ireland.

If you are Irish or of Irish ancestry or of any other nationality, and living anywhere around the globe, maybe you might consider sparing a copper or two as a donation.

Just post to the Capuchin Day Centre, 29, Bow Street, Dublin, Ireland.


Last modified on Monday, 18 September 2017 14:27