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Tag Archives: Hilary Tonge

Mná-some place of welcome for everyone

SHE stared intently at the mobile phone clutched in her hand before the Zoom call burst onto her screen. Answering the call, she was met with a face not seen in 50 years, and as they caught up on decades lost, the tears flowed. This emotional reunion of friends was made possible through the voluntary efforts of those involved with the Mná Ag Gaire Women’s Shed in Ennis, a place to meet, share skills and combat loneliness for all women. Helping women develop digital skills is just one of the many activities which have been ongoing at the women’s shed in the Tracklands Business Park. Recalling the moment two best friends were brought back together, founder member Hilary Tonge says, “We’ve had a lot of women want to learn digital skills, particularly during Covid, they realised they were isolated because they couldn’t get on their phones. “A lady came into to us and all she wanted to do was to …

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Cahercalla Hospital

Community activist shaken by online abuse

A COMMUNITY activist was shaken by the vile online abuse she experienced after posting a video seeking support to deal with a major outbreak of Covid-19 at Cahercalla Community Hospital and Hospice, Ennis. Hillary Tonge spent weeks organising the manufacture and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with others to nursing homes throughout the county including Cahercalla last May. On Saturday, January 16, Ms Tonge recalled she was contacted by a very stressed Cahercalla staff member, who outlined staffing issues, presented a letter written by Board chairman, Dr Michael Harty, and requested her assistance. In view of the role played previously by the Mná ag Gaire Women’s Shed group making PPE for nursing homes, Ms Tonge posted a video on Facebook seeking the public’s help under the group’s name. In an interview with the Clare Champion, Ms Tonge confirmed she did make efforts to contact Cahercalla management on Saturday, January 16 by phone but couldn’t get through. Dr Harty’s letter …

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PPE donation protecting the common good

NURSING homes across Clare to from benefit from a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), secured after a fundraising drive coordinated by the Midwest Hospital Campaign. The initiative was prompted by concern at the start of the pandemic about the difficulty in accessing supplies of PPE, particularly for nursing homes and other congregated settings. “The donation will be especially important now that visiting has begun once again at nursing homes and there’s even more demand for PPE,” said Noeleen Moran, one of the coordinators. Some of the PPE was sourced through a network of contacts for manufacturers in Poland, while more was handmade by hundreds of individual volunteers and groups across Clare, including the Irish Countrywomen’s’ Association (ICA). Hilary Tonge of the Midwest Hospital Campaign said the effort to secure PPE had involved many groups and individuals from across the county. “When the pandemic was declared, there was a huge fear that there would not be enough PPE,” she said. …

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new group continues fundraising for PPE

A NEW lobby group hopes to distribute another batch of scrubs to a long term residential care facility later this week. Nursing homes in Clare have been the big winners of a new campaign to provide additional supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) thanks to work co-ordinated by a new support group. The Mid-West Hospital Campaign group estimates that hundreds of cotton face masks have been made inside the last seven days by 37 sewers working voluntarily on behalf of this new lobby group. Clare PPE co-ordinator Hilary Tonge confirmed that nurses in St Senan’s Nursing Home in Kilrush received newly- made scrubs on Tuesday. She hopes that the group will have another large batch of scrubs ready to benefit another nursing home later this week. Three health care workers in Ennistymon received scrubs, face masks and hand sanitiser from the group on Tuesday. The group has collected more than €3,000 in financial donations to date and would welcome more …

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