Charity CHY 4971

About Us


All our services are free of charge to those that need them. Our friendly volunteers ensure that our service users are well looked after on a daily basis. Our door is always open, we never judge, we serve.
Sometimes a cup of tea, a handshake or a friendly chat can go a long way towards beating the loneliness and isolation that is a big issue for many that come our way.

There has also been a huge increase in homelessness and mental health issues that are affecting so many people which have led them to avail of our services.

In the last few years we have also seen a big increase in the number of families availing of our service.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life; nurses, truck drivers,scientists, general operatives, musicians, teachers, students, solicitors, unemployed people, retired people and clergy. Our volunteers are made up of many different nationalities, but what we all have in common is empathy for our fellow human beings and a willingness to offer a hand in support. Service users and volunteers at Cork Penny Dinners interact with good humour and mutual respect always.

Food packages are also distributed to people in need.

Cork Penny Dinners is a registered charity.  Our charitable objective is to feed those in need and to offer support to homeless people.


Fundraising comes from individuals, companies, local organisations and businesses, social and sporting clubs. Many help with donations from their voluntary fundraising events which they have organised for the charity's benefit and also donate goods, produce and expertise. These donations are what enables the continuance of our service into the future. 

We are very grateful to all those who organise and take part in their voluntary fundraising efforts, food drives, challenges, quizzes, cake sales, music gigs, sporting events, school events and so many other diverse initiatives. The goodwill of people has been absolutely outstanding.

Third-Party Fundraiser Responsibilities

·        Fundraisers must disclose that they are third party agents.

·        It is the responsibility of the fundraisers to obtain relevant Garda permits.

·        Fundraisers should familiarise themselves and comply with the laws of the land relating to fundraising activities.

·        Fundraisers must be able to communicate the purpose of the  Charity.

·        Fundraisers must  conduct themselves with integrity and honesty at all times.

·        Fundraisers must ensure their actions enhance the reputation of  Cork Penny Dinners.

·        If buckets are used for collections, ensure the buckets are sealed,  and that unrelated people are involved in           counting the money.

·        Fundraisers should ensure they receive a receipt from Cork Penny Dinners when handing over the proceeds.

          Cork Penny Dinners are a Registered Charity – CHY4971.

A special thanks to Macroom Motors for the donated Van which is invaluable to our work.


Penny Dinners Trustees Volunteer coordinator, Caitríona Twomey is the driving force behind Cork Penny Dinners. Operating on a purely voluntary basis, she became involved with the charity some years ago through her father Tom Lynch. During Caitríona’s childhood, Tom would devote much of his Christmas Day to cooking hot meals for the homeless community in Cork. Then, following hours of graft, he would return home and do the same for his children . 

“My father never told us where he was going which only fuelled my curiosity”, Caitriona said. “I was thrilled when he agreed to let me come with him one year. From helping out I was shocked to see the number of people suffering. It made me realise how truly lucky I was.” Since then Caitríona has dedicated her life to easing other people’s suffering.  Her trained background as a psychotherapist attests to this. A Cork Person of the Month award is among her many accolades. Caitríona’s teenage daughter Alesha is already following in her footsteps after receiving the prestigious “Garda Youth Award’ for her ongoing charity work. 

“I believe in our ethos of being non-judgmental as that was firmly rooted in my childhood,” Caitríona said. “My strong points are many, my weak points even more. However, myself and the volunteers do a magnificent job everyday of the year. We Serve!”

Limerick native Gary Heslin is Chairperson of the board of Trustees. Gary felt compelled to join the Cork Penny Dinners team after learning of their invaluable work from television show the Secret Millionaire which aired almost seven years ago. The cause was close to his heart, given the number of people he encountered sleeping on the streets during a normal working day.

The now  retired firefighter was so touched by their appearance he decided to volunteer in the soup kitchen which dates back to famine times. Gary spent 27 years working with Cork City Fire Brigade and has also garnered much respect in the community through his voluntary work with the RNLI.

Noel Heany is Treasurer of the board of Trustees.

JJ O Connell is Secretary of the board of Trustees.