Monday 11 December 2017

Friends turn words into action to send lorryloads of aid

Refugee camp in Calais
Refugee camp in Calais

What began as a chat among friends has turned into a large-scale humanitarian aid convoy.

After discussing devastating scenes from the refugee crisis, Roisin Garvey from Co Clare and her friend Tracey Ryan from Co Cork decided to deliver supplies to refugees in Calais.

At least 50 people will leave Ireland on September 30 for the French port.

"Within three days we had a Facebook page and phone calls coming out of my ears," said Roisin.

"Someone was on to me about getting Florence and the Machine to announce it from the stage at Electric Picnic.

"I'm very fussy about what we're getting. I was nervous about organising it, but I was lifted by the kindness of strangers.

"One woman gave me 100 bars of soap that she made herself."

Roisin will be travelling with her 16-year-old son and his friend.

"That is what motivated me to go over in the first place, when I saw so many teenage boys in those camps," she said.

Roisin said the Government's response is slow.


"Because so many people are interested, I want it to be an election issue," she said. "If an ordinary person can do so much, why aren't TDs helping?

"What are we teaching the next generation?"

At present two trucks, 10 cars and 20 vans will make the journey to France, said Tracey.

"When you look at the number of people entering Hungary and Greece, what we are doing is nothing, really," she said.

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