Buy My Dress 2017

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Saturday, September 30 – the ultimate dress sale you don’t want to miss


This September the Down Syndrome Centre are holding their yearly Buy My Dress event. 2017 marks the ninth anniversary for the annual fundraiser where pre-loved, special occasion dresses, can be snapped up for brilliant value.

A new strand has been incorporated this year meaning people can hold their very own event, either at home, in the workplace or even at a local club. It might sound like a lot of work but it’s surprisingly easy says Fundraising and Communications Executive, Lorraine Murphy.

“There’s loads of great bunting, posters and invitations and there’s a fairly easy step-by-step guide on how to organise your event online,” she says.

“We’re telling ladies to do it at any time during the day; it could be early in the morning or hold it in the evening with a glass of wine and a few friends around. There are no rules. It’s an excuse for everyone to clear out their wardrobes and do a bit of guilt-free shopping in aid of charity. It’s very easy to organise and we’re hoping that if a couple of people register this year then it will just grow. It might become something on the social calendar.”

While the official Buy My Dress events will take place on Saturday, September 30, if it doesn’t suit you to hold your own event on this day, it’s not a problem. There are three ways in which you can support the event; by hosting, attending and purchasing and of course by donating dresses, which the event relies on. Lorraine says she is always amazed by the generosity they encounter, particularly from some well-known faces throughout the country.

“There’s a lot of buzz around the celebrity dresses of course. We’ve got the likes of Amy Huberman, Caroline Morahan, Miriam O’Callaghan, the list is just endless. They’ve been an absolutely fantastic support.”

All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Down Syndrome Centre and, as the charity do not receive any Government funding, this support is so important

“100% of our funds come from fundraising and public support and everything we earn from Buy My Dress goes towards the running of the centre. The model of the Down Syndrome Centre has worked so well, two new centres have opened under our umbrella this year,” says Lorraine.

“We’ve a centre down in Cork and in Portlaoise so the proceeds from those events will go towards the setting up of those centres. There’s great support in Galway in the Radisson Blu and the proceeds from that will then go to the Down Syndrome Centre as well.”


(Pictured: Lorraine and Reuben).

The centre – which helps over 200 children and their families every week –  is particularly close to Lorraine’s heart as her eight year-old son, Reuben, has Down Syndrome.

“I suppose from my point of view, the Down Syndrome Centre offers so many services that are so invaluable for children with Down Syndrome because parents aren’t getting the amount of services they should be,” says Lorraine.

Jackie Carlile, the Buy My Dress Ambassador, has two little girls of her own; Lara who is five and three year-old Belle. Lorraine says Jackie always dresses her girls ‘immaculately’ in ‘gorgeous matching outfits.’


(Pictured L-R: Lara, Jackie and Belle).

Jackie believes that without the support Lara has received at the Down Syndrome Centre it’s unlikely her progress would be where it is today.

“Supporting the event is important to me as services such as speech therapy and occupational therapy are essential for Lara to reach her full potential. Without doubt, they are the stepping stones to Lara achieving an independent future,” she says.

Jackie goes on to say that the center has had such an impact on Lara’s development, it has become an essential part of her family’s life.

“It has changed our family as a whole. As a parent I have benefitted greatly from the monthly seminars I attended on education, nutrition and behavior. Each one provided me with the skills I needed as a parent to better support my daughter in our home and in turn, turning our home into a happier place,” says Jackie.

“Lara has now gained the ability to dress herself, write her own name, her speech has become clearer and her conversational skills have vastly improved. She is less frustrated as she has support in achieving these milestones and gaining these skills has allowed her confidence to grow.”

For more information on Buy My Dress 2017 or if you are interested in hosting your own event, visit