Altruism is now rural Ireland’s only thriving industry. It’s not official – nor will it ever be made so. That would be an embarrassment to those who should be providing funds for the services which the altruistic prop up on an ongoing basis.
Me and my equals from the various media outlets in rural Ireland know this as we’re called out with great regularity to cheque presentations by one group or another.
Our colleagues in Dublin are busy these times with political manoeuvres and job announcements. We’re kept on our toes by the considerate and the generous of the altruistic population growing in our areas.
Without a Paddle
Only for the growing altruism of these individuals and groups, schools and health services in rural Ireland would be up shit creek without the proverbial paddle.
And our government has set up a group to look at how many post offices they can close in the very same areas in which these pockets of generosity thrive.
It’s none of my business who wins the Fine Gael leadership battle but Simon Coveney was on Prime Time the other night and he said that he wanted to make his party more compassionate. That’s good.
The Harded it Got
If he succeeds in his bid for the leadership, I’d like to draw his attention to the kind of compassion the people of rural Ireland have been showing for years. The harder it got, in more recent years, the deeper they dug – and it’s bottomless.
It’s something that’s in them and it’s been in them from the bottoms of their hearts and out of sheer necessity. It’s a modern take on the old cup-of-sugar, colouring for your tea, meitheal mentality our parents and grandparents often spoke of. Whatever it is, without it now rural Ireland wouldn’t have a hope.
Meanwhile, my colleagues and I were out again during this week to witness the handing over of a cheque by an ad-hoc group under the working title: ‘Margaret’s Gang’ and under the leadership of Scartaglin couple Margaret and Dan Fleming.
Tea Dance at the Hotel
They organised a Tea Dance at the River Island Hotel last March and raised an incredible €18,510 from it. The hotel chipped in too as the management provided the venue free of charge.
Dan Horan, Trish Kelly and Breda Dyland of Kerry Cancer Support Group-Kerry Cork Health Link Bus were presented with the cheque by Margaret and Dan and the gang members at the River Island Hotel on Tuesday evening.
In response, Breda Dyland issued the following statement on behalf of the Kerry Cancer Support Group / Kerry Cork Health Link Bus:
“The management, staff and board of directors at Kerry Cancer Support Group would like to express their sincere gratitude to Margaret, her husband Danny, Margaret Coffey, Leo Fitzgerald and her team of fundraisers for organising their event in March.
They organised a tea dance in the River Island Hotel with Mike Fitzgerald’s Southern Pride and Paudie McAuliffe’s Shades of Country keeping everyone on the floor on the day.
The River Island sponsored the room and refreshments so all funds raised went straight to the charity. The amount raised was €18,510.
The funds were used in part to fund the purchase of a new bus and also to enhance existing services. These include the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus which transports service users from all over Kerry and parts of Cork to hospitals in Cork for their cancer treatment.
It will also cover the delivery of awareness programmes to schools and groups in the region and provision of their emergency driving service which transports service users where no other service can help them.
The Kerry Cancer Support Group started in 2010 with a 14 seater minibus. As demand quickly grew so did this vital bus service.
Now the new bus travels every day to Cork University Hospital – with the exception of Christmas Day, St. Stephens Day and on public holidays.
The route services Kerry and parts of Cork. This free service is offered on a confidential basis.
To support our service users on their cancer journey, we have secured a block booking with Cork University Hospital (CUH).
This means that those travelling on the bus are scheduled together and do not have to endure long delays waiting for appointments.
The users experience great emotional and social support from each other,” – Breda Dyland.
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