SUNDAY should have been a magnificent spectacle full of colour, passion, fearsome clashes and outstanding hurling.
Cork and Limerick in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on a sweltering hot Saturday night in 2018 was a modern classic and the same was expected at the weekend.
But – like so much in our lives – the Munster hurling championship is on hold. But despite not being on the pitch our senior hurlers and ladies footballers are still delivering for their county.
The PPE for Limerick fundraiser, in conjunction with the Limerick Hurling and Ladies Football All Ireland Champions of 2018, came to an end on Friday, May 1 with just over €13,000 of PPE supplied to Limerick hospitals, nursing homes, care facilities and community nurses.
Aideen Fitzpatrick had the idea to get the two Limerick All-Ireland winning teams together and produce something special for frontline healthcare workers.
“These people are risking so much to care for the sick that they need to be protected themselves,” said Aideen, proprietor of Elm Court Service Station in Ballyneety. The two respective managers – John Kiely and John Ryan – immediately said yes.
In total, John Kiely, John Ryan, Declan Hannon, Barry Nash, Cian Lynch, Graeme Mulcahy, Peter Casey, Seamus Flanagan and Cathy Mee, Niamh Ryan, Martina Giltenane, Kristine Reidy, Loretta Hanley, Catriona Davis and Roisín Ambrose from the ladies footballers were involved.
Aideen, who is the Limerick ladies county minor manager, put a few words together for each of them to say. Then they all shot their videos and sent them onto Aideen. The finished product with its moving message was put on a Go Fund Me Page called PPE for Limerick fundraiser.
A total of €8,473 was raised through the Go Fund Me campaign. Another €1,900 was donated directly with cheques and cash, and €2,980 of free PPE was donated from their suppliers.
“Paula Keating, of Keating’s Care+ Pharmacies; Jenni Platt, of Caherconlish Pharmacy and Eithne and Barry O’ Halloran, of EM services Adare were amazing to us in supplying PPE.
“Masks, visors, contactless thermometers and sanitiser was all sourced and supplied to us, with massive donations of free stock from them to go along with the materials bought with the monies from the fundraiser.
“Limerick ICA, who have been sewing scrubs for Ireland, also provided sets of scrubs for the hospitals and care facilities that needed them, and are still working on making more to meet the unceasing demand for them.
“A massive thank you to Alison Stubbins, of Michael Guiney’s Ltd, for agreeing to supply some fabric to enable them to keep the supplies flowing,” said Aideen.
To date PPE has been delivered to the Emergency Department in University Hospital Limerick, St John’s Hospital, St Camillus Hospital, the community nurses based in St Joseph’s Hospital, Milford Care Centre, Enable Ireland, St Gabriel’s, Brothers of Charity in Bawnmore, Beech Lodge Care Facility, Riverbrook Nursing Home, Rathfredagh Nursing Home, Athlunkard Nursing Home and St Vincent’s in Lisnagry.
“Hopefully, this helps them in their fight against Covid-19. We are delighted to have been able to do something to aid our amazing frontline workers,” said Aideen.
She said they were amazed at the “huge and generous response” they got from the public and from other groups.
“We got individual donations of €500 each from Club Limerick Dublin, so massive thanks to their chairperson Paul Stapleton, secretary Ollie Mann, new treasurer Pat Nash, outgoing treasurer Harry Keane, who is stepping down after 25 years of service and is originally a Kilmallock man, and to all their members.
“We also received €500 from the Limerick Federation of the ICA, with thanks to president Annette Long, secretary Anne Rowlands, treasurer Anne Gabbett, former president Mary Moloney, who has been coordinating their efforts in the sewing campaign in Limerick, which they are doing as part of the sew scrubs for Ireland campaign. Thanks to all their members for the sewing and the donation.
“We also received many more donations of €100, €200 and even €300 but to each and every person who donated, we want to say: Míle mile buíochas do gach duine leis a gcuid tacaíocht don fheachtas seo,” said Aideen.
One of many thank you letters she has received was from HSE Primary Services.
They said they were “overwhelmed by the generosity” and wanted to wish Aideen and the teams’ families every good health in these very strange times.
“These masks will be used by both public health nurses and registered general nurses when providing nursing care to all ages in their homes, clinic settings and Covid isolation units in Limerick City and County,” read the letter.
Not that it was needed, but it is another reason to cheer even louder when our hurlers and ladies footballers do run out onto the field in the future.
For more on this story see www.limerickleader.ie