Doubts emerge over Penneys Late Late Toy Show PJ donation to school children in nearly 1,000 schools in Laois and around Ireland

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Late Late Toy Show rté christmas tubridy

Ryan Tubridy presents the Late Late Toy Show

Children in Laois and nearly 1,000 schools around Ireland could be left disappointed by a promise from Penneys that they would be getting free Late Late Toy Show PJs.

The Leinster Express has been contacted by a school in Laois which has not received any of the 50,000 special PJs that could not be sold by Penneys due to lockdown.

Penneys announced on November 18 that it was delighted to team up with the children's charity Barnardos to distribute the garments to children and teenagers in so-called DEIS schools around Ireland.

The Laois school told the Leinster Express that on foot of the enquiries about the offer it contacted Barnardos but the charity was adamant that it was a recipient of the PJs and it would be delivered to families from disadvantaged communities. The school told the Leinster Express that the charity was adamant that it was not responsible for deliveries to DEIS schools. 

Penneys did not reply to the school's enquiry so the Leinster Express made contact with the retail giant. A Penneys spokesperson issued a statement.

"Barnardos are distributing Late Late Toy Show pyjamas to children in DEIS schools across Ireland and to children who access Barnardos centres as well as direct donations to over 600 families from disadvantaged communities, in time for the Late Late Toy Show on 27th November.

"The pyjama sets will also be distributed to children in Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght hospitals," said a statement.

A Barnardos situation said it is reviewing the situation.

The gesture got a big response when announced by Ryan Tubridy on his RTÉ Radio 1 morning show last week.

The DEIS schools in Laois are Portlaoise College, Mountmellick Community School, Scoil Bhríde NS in Portlaoise,  St Joseph's Girls NS, St Fintans NS, Mountrath, Scoil Bhride, Mountmellick Boys NS.

The Department of Education says there were 890 DEIS schools in the 2019/20 school year. These include 692 primary schools and 198 post-primary schools.

Launched in 2005 by the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) aims to address the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities.