Almost €4 million raised as the Calcutta Run celebrates 20 years

Over 1,100 legal professionals will run, walk or cycle to fight homelessness in Dublin and Kolkata.

  • The Calcutta Run is set to hit the €4 million mark on its 20th anniversary.
  • Over 1,300 legal professionals raised €230,000 in support of homeless youths in Dublin and Kolkata in 2017.
  • This year’s run is taking place on Saturday 26 May from Blackhall Place through Phoenix Park.

This year, over 1,100 solicitors and members of the legal profession will run, walk and cycle to help fight homelessness in Dublin and Kolkata.

The 2018 Calcutta Run, organised by the Law Society of Ireland, aims to raise €300,000 to reach a cumulative figure of €4 million over 20 years of the event. All funds raised are divided between the charity partners, The Hope Foundation and the Peter McVerry Trust. Supporting this year’s event are ambassadors Gavin Duffy, Miriam O’Callaghan and Deric O'hArtagáin.

Michael Quinlan, President of the Law Society of Ireland, said, “The issue of homelessness is more wide-spread than ever. Our partner charities rely on the Calcutta Run for income to fund specific projects. While this puts a pressure on us to deliver, the legal profession has proven itself to be committed to fundraising each year for this cause.”

Funding projects in Dublin and Kolkata

In 2017, the Calcutta Run raised €230,000. These funds supported a number of projects including The Hope Foundation’s ‘Hive Emergency Response Unit, an emergency unit that responds to crises on the streets of Kolkata 24 hours a day, and Bhoruka Public Welfare Trust, a home which provides care and support to HIV/AIDS infected and affected girls.

Maureen Forrest, Founder and Director of the Hope Foundation said, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with The Calcutta Run this year. The Calcutta Run is making an incredible difference to the children with whom we work in Kolkata. This year on the 20th anniversary of such an extraordinary event, we have an opportunity to send a message to this extremely vulnerable group of children that we are listening.”

Funds from the run also supported Peter McVerry Trust’s Residential Community Detox programme, helping individuals detox from methadone.

Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, said “The Calcutta Run is a fantastic initiative and we are delighted to have a long standing relationship with the event now in its 20th year. The Calcutta Run has made a huge contribution to the work of the Peter McVerry Trust over the years and our ability to respond to people experiencing homelessness in Ireland.”

Event activities

The Calcutta Run includes a 5km and 10km course, which starts and finishes in Blackhall Place, winding its way through the Phoenix Park via the surrounding streets of Dublin 7. Post-run, participants can celebrate at the Finish Line Festival with a free BBQ, bar, vintage stands, DJ and kids’ activities on the grounds of Blackhall Place.

Over the past two decades, the event has evolved to include soccer and tennis tournaments, as well as 50km and 100km cycles. For the first time this year, 90 HOPE volunteers in Kolkata and dozens of New York based Irish lawyers will be running events. A satellite event will also take place in Cork with funds there going towards SHARE and The Hope Foundation.

“It has been exciting to see the event evolve and grow over time. Now in its 20th year, the Calcutta Run has expanded to include soccer and tennis tournaments, and for this first time ever we have runs taking place in Cork, Kolkata and New York. The commitment and creativity of the event is testament to the legal profession,” said Mr Quinlan.