On Monday, March 2nd 1970, the first branch of Samaritans in Ireland opened in a house, scheduled for demolition, in Dublin city centre
An advertisement had been placed in the Irish Press newspaper looking for volunteers and the response was terrific.
A handful of volunteers took calls on a single telephone, and answering the door to the occasional visitor. 47 years later and there are over 330 Dublin Samaritans answering phone calls, texts and emails, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In our first year of listening (1970/71) we had over 1,000 contacts. Last year we received over 113,000 calls in our Dublin branch.
Despite changes to our appearance and the technology we use, the service that is offered by Samaritans today is no different from that of 1970. Over the years, the organisation has received millions of calls from people in distress and hundreds of thousands of people have given their time to become volunteers. For as long as we are needed, we will be here.
Today there are over 330 Dublin Samaritans answering phone calls, emails and letters, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Last year Dublin Branch received over 113,000 calls, an overall increase of 6% on the previous year. People phone or visit and some prefer to write or email. We have 6 telephone lines and are available on these 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Due to the outbreak of Covid-19 unfortunately we cannot take callers to the door at this time.
In Ireland last year there was 639,652 calls to Samaritans in total. Nearly 95% of these calls were by phone.