GAA clubs are working together to support communities
Concerned Kilkenny GAA clubs are planning to ramp up efforts within their community areas to help people during the coronavirus pandemic.
City clubs O’Loughlin Gaels, Dicksboro and James Stephens are holding a joint meeting this evening (Wednesday) to explore the possibility of having a coordinated approach to ‘the help our community’ effort during the current crisis.
And at least two rural clubs, Graigue-Ballycallan and the Rower-Inistioge, have self help schemes in motion whereby they respond to calls from people who may need assistance during this period of social distancing and in some cases isolation.
“Social distancing is the opposite to what Irish people like to do, but the rules are different now,” suggested Graigue-Ballycallan chairman, David O’Neill, when he confirmed the club has already responded to calls for help from people.
“We will follow the HSE guidelines all the way,” added Mr O’Neill, who said the club had set up a group of volunteers who would get groceries, fuel or whatever to people who were unable to get things for themselves.
He added that in a worst case scenario the club would be there to help if a family or carer was forced into self isolation, leaving someone else vulnerable.
“We will do our best to be the back-up for people in the area who need help,” he insisted.
The Rower-Inistioge and the local Community Council have put together a joint group of volunteers. They have a Helpline (089-4525740) set up which people can call if they need shopping, medicines collected from the chemist or whatever.
The ’phone line will be manned from 8am to 11pm, the ’People was told.
The three city clubs are meeting with a Community Garda in the O’Loughlin Gaels clubrooms this evening to explore the possibility of working as a team to help people in need.
“This is not about one club trying to be better than the other. This is about helping people,” said O’Loughlin’s chairman, Johnny Holohan, and his sentiments were echoed by Dicksboro chairman, Eddie Holohan, and James Stephens chairman, Paddy Neary.
“This is an opportunity for the club to help the community who help and support us week in and week out,” Mr Holohan added.
On Monday, O’Loughlin’s listed 25 people, plus their mobile phone numbers, who had offered to act as volunteers. At the time of going to press last night, that list had swollen to over 50.
The mobile number of Graigue-Ballycallan chairman, David O’Neill is 086-0234350, if people need support from the club.