The live animal crib including farm animals outside Mansion House will not go ahead this year, according to a statement from Dublin City Council.

Dublin City Council and the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) have been organising the crib since 1995, which included sheep, a donkey and a goat provided and cared for by the IFA.

For this year, Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy seeks to create a new experience that will allow children to be part of the scene, according to a statement.

In previous years, the animals were brought in each morning and returned to a farm on the outskirts of the city each evening, and the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advised with regards to the care of the animals.

However, the effects of Covid-19 on how events can be approached mean that the scene must now be viewed from behind a perspex barrier, according to a council spokesperson.

The IFA has said there has been no communication from the Lord Mayor’s office about any change in arrangements for the live animal crib, and preparations are already underway for December when the crib is supposed to be opened.

The association is now seeking a meeting with the Lord Mayor.

A statement provided to Agriland by Dublin City Council reads: “The sole reason behind this decision is to attempt to create a new option for families and children in the heart of the city that they can physically interact with.

“While the details of this are to be finalised and will be announced later, it will include a Nativity scene and allow everyone to feel like they are part of a Christmas in 1715 when the Mansion House was first purchased.”

The live crib has played a valuable part of Dublin’s Christmas celebrations at the Mansion House for the last 25 years, and it has given much enjoyment to generations of Dubliners, according to Dublin City Council.