DUBLIN – The Islamic center in Dublin opened its doors on Monday, October 16, to homeless people as ex-Hurricane Ophelia hits Ireland.
“We provide food and soup,” Malek Madani, who works in administration at the center, told The Independent.
“It’s the minimum that we can do as humanitarians. We try to contribute along with council organizations, who have helped us with beds, too.”
Madani added that the center in Clonskeagh, Dublin, was “open 24 hours for everyone”.
The announcement came as Ophelia is expected to pummel the country with sustained winds of more than 50mph and gusts of around 80mph, deemed the worst storms to hit Ireland in half a century.
The category 1 storm, which was a category 3 hurricane over the weekend as it moved over the Atlantic, made landfall in County Kerry early Monday morning.
The Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland wrote on Facebook: “Please stay safe everyone, especially during the times that the storm hits and its aftermath. Check in on your elderly and vulnerable neighbors, bring in your pets and make sure your bins and any other items that can be blown away are secured or brought in.”
Madani said he expected other cultural centers in Dublin to open their doors.
“They are part of society and they should too,” he said. “We never know [who will come during the storm] but we try to do our best.”
Local Aoife O’Riordan wrote on Twitter she had been to the center several times “Cause they make the best damn schwarma [sic] in south Dublin and they have a lovely wee shop too”.
The Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin has also provided an extra 120 beds during the storm.
Ophelia comes more than 50 years after Hurricane Debbie, which killed 12 people in Ireland.
Ophelia has also surpassed Hurricane Frances in 1980 as the most eastern storm on record in the Atlantic Basin.