Karen Keehan, Marine Search and Rescue, Michael Cronin and Patrick Barrett, St Munchins Community Centre Picture: Leon Ledger
IN the midst of Storm Emma, a Limerick charity stepped in to save the day and ensured hundreds of elderly folk in the city did not go hungry.
Staff at St Munchin’s Community Centre in Kileely on the city’s northside were facing the prospect of not being able to take meals to the elderly at lunchtime.
But storm saviours came in the form of Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, and their snow-fighting four-by-four vehicles.
Karen Keehan, a youth worker in nearby Moyross, joined two more volunteers from the charity, which normally rescues people on the River Shannon, transported almost 200 meals right across the city on Friday – and as far afield as snow-hit Clonlara.
“We managed to get everything done, and even managed to get to 27 extra people,” explained Linda Ledger, St Munchin’s manager.
“They were very good to us. We’d have never got in around there without Limerick Search and Rescue.”
Linda said her own delivery drivers were keen to get the meals out, despite treacherous road conditions, but felt she could not put their lives in such danger. Karen, a youth worker in Moyross, said it was a “no brainer” to help out St Munchin’s.
She added: “This is an example of one community organisation helping another one.
“St Munchins provide a very valuable service to all members of the community. It’s city and county-wide. Anything we can do to help them out, we’re more than delighted to.”
Remarkably during the big freeze, the centre remained open, with staff making a packed supper of bread, soup and mandarins for people on Thursday night.
“A lot of people came in for water as their pipes were frozen over. A lot of people came in looking for bread or something to eat as they didn’t have anything,” Linda added.
Karen added: "We took two of the four-by-fours we have. They are better vehicles than the vans they used in St Munchins.
“As it turned out, they are much needed in parts of the city and county where it would have been impossible for the vans to get into. I work in community myself. We are a community organisation.
“We had the necessary vehicles available to us so it was a no-brainer really. One community organisation helping another one.”
St Munchin’s Community Centre sends meals on wheels to the city’s elderly and vulnerable people five days a week, every day.
This included over the Christmas period.