UP to 3,000 disposable face masks and 1,000 gowns will be distributed by a local lobby group over the coming weeks after purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) totalling €6,000.
The Mid-West Hospital Campaign has placed an order for €6,000 worth of disposable PPE, which will be distributed to local nursing homes later in the coming weeks.
The University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) were working together to source PPE for public hospitals and found it was quicker to purchase it from a Polish company, which was sourced by Limerick fashion buyer and student, Any Whyte.
Before the order was placed, the group got samples from Ms White and showed them to medical staff in nursing homes to ensure they met the required medical specification.
The group received donations from the public, the Clare Trades’ Council and Councillors Joe Garrihy, Róisín Garvey, Shane Talty, Mark Nestor and Cillian Murphy.
Lisdoonvarna Fáilte helped the group by providing an account where money could be lodged before the placing of the purchase order.
Councillor Garrihy described these donations as a “show of solidarity” and recalled public representatives worked together, particularly during the height of the pandemic when there was a chronic shortage of PPE.
The group has also paid tribute to volunteers who produced more than 300 scrubs, 1,000 face masks, 350 face shields and those who have bottled and labelled hundreds of hand sanitiser. The group has also praised Saoirse Marie Motorcyle Club for transporting material throughout the county.
Co-ordinator, Hilary Tonge said she is proud to be associated with this campaign and noted nursing homes and health care workers have expressed their gratitude with thank you letters and messages on their Facebook page.
The group donated PPE to every nursing home in Clare who needed it, numerous healthcare workers and St John’s Hospital, Limerick.
In total, 50 sewists and cutters dedicated their time to producing scrubs and face masks.
“This would not have been achieved only for our donors, from the smallest bag of elastic, to boxes of face shields, to rolls of material to a very popular quiz night. Every donated item was used.
“The dedication, expertise, and time that has been put into this campaign has been fantastic. It is a testament to community spirit and to peoples desire to help others in their time of need.
“All of the volunteers stepped up immediately and dedicated their personal time and energy to support front line staff, even though they themselves were in lock down
“It was very enjoyable, I got to meet so many people all over the county. All the nursing homes were very appreciative of what we were doing. I have some spare face masks and scrubs for health care workers,” she said.
Doolin Motorbike Fest is a charity festival, which was set up in 2014 in memory of Marie Clancy, who died from ovarian cancer.
Over the last six years, the charity has raised more than €140,000 for local causes.
Local bikers decided to set up a new club Saoirse Marie MCC and were delighted to get involved in helping the group to collect materials and deliver PPE.
Public relations officer, Mike Burke estimates up to 14 bikers clocked up more than 5,000 miles collecting materials for sewers and Ms Tonge and delivering PPE to nursing homes.
“People have died from Covid-19 throughout the country so if we prevented even one death from what we died, we are satisfied. We often had up to 250 items of PPE on the bike for a delivery. West Coast MCC offered to come on board if we needed them but we had so many volunteers we didn’t need them, “ he said.
Doolin Motorbike Fest also purchased €4,000 worth of hand sanitiser, gloves and other PPE from its own resources and also distributed this to residential care facilities.
A number of local businesses contributed to a petrol fund to ensure that volunteer bikers were not out of pocket doing their trips. Biker colleagues from Scotland contributed an additional €1,000 for their petrol fund.