Glenties is a shining example of community spirit during the Covid-19 crisis
These are uncertain and worrying times, but it is heart-warming to see that the kindness at the core of Irish society is alive and well.
We have seen the empty supermarket shelves, but not the fights that have broken out over supplies in other areas.
And while everyone is worried about their loved ones, about their income and their own health, many people are reaching out to support the elderly, the vulnerable and those at greater risk of a more severe and damaging version of Covid-19.
'If there is anything I can do, just ask' is what we are seeing over and over again, from local shops, clubs, community groups and individuals.
Everywhere we turn, we are very much reminded of what community is about. In Donegal Town it is the small businesses that are stepping up to care for their customers. Some are offering to deliver goods to people who can't get out. These include McNulty's XL, a convenience store on the outskirts of the town. EWS Butchers is also offering a delivery service.
Four Masters GAA Club received a huge response from people willing to lend a hand when it asked people to get in touch if they needed shopping done or other help of any kind.
Many towns across Donegal have set up similar groups to help people.
Glenties is a great example of a community pulling together.
A Facebook post by local man Brian Carr set a wonderful chain of events in motion.
On March 11 when the scale of the crisis was only beginning to come to light, Mr Carr posted a message that included: ”I am like a lot of people saying, if I get it I am healthy enough to shake it off but a lot of people are not and I hope I don’t take it to them, the most vulnerable, the elderly, people with respiratory problems (effects young and old), cancer patients and anyone with any other underlying problems.
“As we have a large number of people in Glenties that fall into these categories as has areas in Italy I personally think we need to start to get something in place to try and help them."
Mr Carr received a huge response which led to the setting up of Community Response Home Delivery Group. It is operating now with the support of several local businesses as well as the Community Development Group, Naomh Conaill GAA, Glenties CFR and the Day Care Centre. Many individuals are also on board.
“It is just a fantastic community response,” said Mr Carr. “If you would like to help, let me know.”
Ballyshannon's Cllr Barry Sweeny (FG) is full of praise for members of communities across the region.
He said: “We are seeing a great community offering support to people, helping each other in this difficult time.
“The pharmacies are there on the front line helping too, as are the emergency services.
“There are scary times ahead but we will get through it if we all take responsibility and we all pull together.”
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