Category Archives: Improve Your Life

Cllr McCarthy: Neighbourhood Watch More Crucial Than Ever Before

Press Release:

 

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called on neighbours to be vigilant of older neighbours during this difficult time; “I have had a good number of Independent Older People with generally no family support contacting me looking for daily community supports – in terms of grocery or medicine collection. I have contacted the invisible army of community supports in this corner of the city. Many of those who have contacted me are cocooning and have never had to ask for help before, and thus potentially are not on the local community’s vulnerable radar list. Many do not have the internet.  Many thanks to the many community groups working with local Gardaí, and individual local volunteers who are all doing trojan community work. There are many local shops as well doing a myriad of deliveries, whilst adhering to social distancing”.

A Covid-19 Community Response Forum (CRF) has now been set up in Cork to ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access vital grocery, medicine and fuel deliveries and social care supports. The new Cork City Covid-19 CRF helpline is 1800-222-226. Support can also be accessed via covidsupport@corkcity.ie.

The dedicated community support helpline is running from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week. The new phone line is just one aspect of the Forum’s work. Its core aim is contributing to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring a coordinated community response. The Council’s COVID-19 CRF will work to ensure that local resources – including social care support and social contact – are targeted at the people who need them most.

Taking part in the Cork City CRF are Cork City Council, the HSE,  GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork ETB, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, An Post and the IFA amongst others. There are many agencies currently doing super work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people in our communities and this forum is aimed at building on this, not duplicating it.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “As part of the Community Response Forum, there are 16 teams of people in different areas of the city. There are two in the south east area. People on the other end of the phone are very approachable and will co-ordinate with those on the other end of the phone – the most vulnerable in our community. Ringing on someone’s behalf Without telling them or not co-ordinating with them though will frighten an older person when all of a sudden someone turns up on their door. I remain available as well if people have questions on the proposed support system at 087 6553389”.

COVID 19 Community Response Forum, 4 April 2020

I have had a good number of Independent Older People with generally no family support contacting me looking for community supports – in terms of grocery or medicine collection.
 
I have contacted the invisible army of community supports in this corner of the city to have them looked after.
 
Many of those who have contacted me are cocooning and have never had to ask for help before, and thus potentially are not on the local community’s vulnerable radar list.
 
Many do not have the internet.
 
Many thanks to the many community groups working with local Gardaí, and individual local volunteers who are all doing trojan community work. There are many local shops as well doing a myriad of deliveries, whilst adhering to social distancing.
 
The new Cork City Council dedicated community support helpline will be running from 9-5pm seven days a week to help ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels and can avail of social care supports, if needed.
 
Taking part in the Cork City Community Response Forum are Cork City Council, the HSE, GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork ETB, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, An Post and the IFA amongst others.
 
There are 16 teams of people in different areas of the city.
There are two in the south east area.
The helpline is 1800-222-226. People on the other end of the phone are very approachable, and will co-ordinate with those on the other end of the phone – the most vulnerable in our community. Ringing on someone’s behalf Without telling them or not co-ordinating with them will frighten an older person when all of a sudden someone turns up on their door.
 
I remain available as well if people have questions on the proposed support system.
 
https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/news-room/latest-news/covid-19-community-response-forum-established.html

COVID -19 Community Response Forum, 31 March 2020

 
I have had a good number of Independent Older People with generally no family support contacting me looking for community supports – in terms of grocery or medicine collection.
 
I have contacted the invisible army of community supports in this corner of the city to have them looked after.
 
Many of those who have contacted me are cocooning and have never had to ask for help before, and thus potentially are not on the local community’s vulnerable radar list.
 
Many do not have the internet.
 
Many thanks to the many community groups working with local Gardaí, and individual local volunteers who are all doing trojan community work. There are many local shops as well doing a myriad of deliveries, whilst adhering to social distancing.
 
The new Cork City Council dedicated community support helpline will be running from 9-5pm seven days a week to help ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels and can avail of social care supports, if needed.
 
Taking part in the Cork City Community Response Forum are Cork City Council, the HSE, GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork ETB, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, An Post and the IFA amongst others.
 
There are 16 teams of people in different areas of the city.
There are two in the south east area.
The helpline is 1800-222-226. People on the other end of the phone are very approachable, and will co-ordinate with those on the other end of the phone – the most vulnerable in our community. Ringing on someone’s behalf Without telling them or not co-ordinating with them will frighten an older person when all of a sudden someone turns up on their door.
 
I remain available as well if people have questions on the proposed support system.
 
https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/news-room/latest-news/covid-19-community-response-forum-established.html

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 2 April 2020

1042a. Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney, Spring- Summer 1920

 

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,
Cork Independent, 2 April 2020
Remembering 1920: Arise Lord Mayor MacSwiney

 

     A special meeting of the Council of the Cork Corporation was held on 30 March 1920 in the old Cork City Hall, for the purpose of electing a Lord Mayor in lieu of the tragic death of Tomás MacCurtain. In light of the turbulent times just 32 of the 56 members were present. On the motion of Alderman Liam de Róiste, Professor Stockley was moved to the chair. Alderman de Róiste, speaking in Irish proposed that Terence MacSwiney be elected. Alderman Barry seconded, and the motion was supported by Sir John Scott.

   There was no other candidate proposed, and the Chairman, amid loud applause, declared Cllr Terence MacSwiney unanimously elected.  As Terence left his seat in the Chamber to walk to the chair, the audience and members of Council stood up and cheered.

    Having been invested with the chain of office the Lord Mayor first spoke in Irish. He then continued in English outlining his view of the events of the previous weeks – the murder of his friend Tomás MacCurtain and his thoughts on hope, sacrifice and endurance. Below is  his speech from his inauguration, which was published in the Cork Examiner of the day and in a number of other regional newspapers:

“I shall be as brief as possible. This is not an occasion for many words, least of all a conventional exchange of compliments and thanks. The circumstances of the vacancy in the effect of Lord Mayor governed inevitably the filling of it. And I come here more as a soldier, stepping into the breach, than an administrator to fill the first post in the municipality. At a normal tine it would be your duty to find for this post the Councillor most practised and experienced in public affairs. But the time is not normal.

We see in the manner in which our Late Lord Mayor was murdered an attempt to terrify us all. Our first duty is to answer that threat in the only lilting manner by showing ourselves unterrified, cool and inflexible, for the fulfilment of our chief purpose – the establishment of the independence and integrity of our country the peace and happiness of our country. To that end I am here. I was more closely associated than any other hero with our late murdered friend and colleague, both before and since the events of Easter week, in prison and out of it, in a common work of love for lreland, down to the hour of his death.

 For that reason I take his place. It is, I think, though I say it, the fitting answer to those who struck him down. Following from that there is a further matter of importance only less great – it touches the efficient continuance of our civic administration. If this recent unbearable aggravation of our persecution by our enemies should cause us to suspend voluntarily the normal discharge of our duties it would help them very materially in their campaign to overthrow our cause. I feel the question of the future conduct of our affairs is in all our mind. And I think I’m voicing the general view when I say that the normal functions of our Corporate body must proceed, as far as in our power lies, uninterrupted, with that efficiency and integrity of which our late civic head gave such brilliant promise. I don’t wish to sound a personal note, but this much may be permitted under the circumstances – I made myself active in the selection of our late colleague for the office of Lord Mayor. He did not seek the honour, and would not accept it as such, but when put to him as a duty he stepped up to his place like a soldier.

Before his election we discussed together in the intimate way we discussed everything touching our common work since Easter week. We debated together what ought to be done and what could be done, keeping in mind, us in duty bound, not only the ideal line of action, but the practicable line at the moment as well. That time he followed with an ability and success all his own. Gentlemen, you have paid tribute to him on all sides. It will be my duty and ready purpose to follow that line as faithfully as in my power, though no man in this Council could hope to discharge its functions with his ability and his perfect grasp of public business in all its details and, as one harmonious whole. I have thought it necessary to touch on this normal duty of ours, though – and it may seem strange to say it – I feel at the moment it is even a digression. For the menace of our enemies hangs over us, and the essential immediate purpose is to show the spirit that animates us, and how we face our future.

Our spirit is but to be a more lively manifestation of the spirit in which we began the year to work for the city in a now zeal. Inspired by our initial act when we dedicated it and formally attested our allegiance, to bring by our administration of the city glory to our allegiance, and by working for our city s advancement with constancy in all honourable wavs in her new dignity as one of the first cities of Ireland, to work for, and, if need be, to die for.

 I would recall some words of mine on that day of our first meeting after the election of Lord Mayor. I realised that most of you in the minority here would be loyal to us, if doing so did not threaten your lives; but that you lacked the spirit and the hope to join with us to complete the work of liberation so well begun. I allude to it here again, Because I wish to point out again the secret of our strength and the assurance of our final victory. This content of ours is not on our side a rivalry of vengeance, but one of endurance – it  is not they who can inflict most but they who can suffer most – will conquer – though we do not abrogate our function to demand and see that evil doers and murderers are punished for their crime? But it is conceivable that they could interrupt our course for a time; then it becomes a question simply of trust in God and endurance. Those whose faith is strong will endure to the end, and triumph. The shining hope in our time is that the great majority of our people are now strong in that faith”.

To you, gentlemen of the minority here, I would address a word. I ask you again to take courage and hope. To me it seems – and I don’t say it to have won – that you have a lively faith in the power of the devil, and but little faith in God. But God is over us, and His Divine intervention we have perfect trust. Anyone surveying the events in Ireland for the past five years must see that is approaching a miracle how our country has been preserved. God has permitted this to be to try our spirits, to prove us for a great and noble destiny. You among us have yet no vision of the future, have been astray by false prophets. The liberty for which we today strive is a sacred thing – inseparately entwined as body with soul with that spiritual liberty for which the saviour of man died, and which is the inspiration and foundation of all just government because it is sacred, and death for it is akin to the sacrifice on Calvary, following far off but constant to that Divine example in every generation our best and heaviest have died.

Sometimes in our grief we cry out foolish and unthinking words; “the sacrifice is to great”. But it is because they were our best and bravest they had to die. No lesser sacrifice would save us. Because of it our struggle is holy – our battle is sanctified by their blood, and our victory is assured by their martyrdom. We, taking up the work they left is complete confident in God, offer in turn sacrifice from ourselves. It is not we who take innocent blood, but we offer it, sustained by the example of our immortal dead and that Divine example, which inspires us all – for the redemption of our country. Facing our enemies, we must declare our attitude supply. We ask for no mercy, and we make no compromise. But to the Divine author of mercy, and we will make no compromise. But to the Divine author of mercy we appeal for strength to sustain us, whatever the persecution, that we may bring our people victory in the end. The civilised world dare not continue to look on indifferent. But if the rulers of earth fail us we have yet sure succour in the Ruler of Heaven; and though to some impatient ears. His judgements seem slow; they never fail, and when they fail they are overwhelming and final.

Caption:

1042a. Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney, Spring/ Summer 1920 (source: British Pathé).

Coronavirus, Contacts and Social Welfare Forms, 16 March 2020

This situation is moving quickly and this information is correct as of this morning but will no doubt continue to be updated in the days ahead.
 
Pensions
 
For those unable to collect pensions, they can nominate someone to act on their behalf and collect the pensions for them. An Post have provided the form at this link https://www.anpost.com/AnPost/media/PDFs/Appointment-of-Temporary-Agent.pdf
 
 
Travel
 
As with everything, this is a very fast moving situation and travel advice and guidelines from the Department is being updated regularly.
 
If you have constituents in Spain, please advise them to travel home as soon  as possible, the Department of Foreign Affairs have worked with Spanish Authorities and the airlines to ensure extra capacity is available for Irish Citizens, but they have strongly urged all citizens to make arrangement to fly home by midnight on Thursday.
 
The Department of Foreign Affairs have a dedicated page which is being updated with travel advice and guidelines https://dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/
As of this morning the situation for travel is
 
Do not travel – Italy
 
Avoid non-essential travel – Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iran, Laos, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam
 
The United States
 
The United States Embassy in Dublin is now operating on a limited capacity, only processing emergency services for U.S. citizens and emergency visa processing.
 
The J1 Visa programme has also been suspended for 90 Day. I am working to get clarity on this situation as I have been contacted by a number of families for details on this.
 
Social Welfare
 
A new special social welfare payment has been created for all those left unemployed by Covid 19, this includes those who are self-employed. It is a simple 1 page form that must be downloaded and sent back into the social welfare office through free post at PO BOX 12896 Dublin 1. If people have a verified MyGovId they can apply for this online. The link below is to the form and full details on the payment.
 
 
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) has published information on coronavirus for employers and employees.
 
It includes recommendations for employers to help support the response to the virus. It also includes information about changes to the Illness Benefit and Supplementary Welfare Allowance rules. These changes require legislation, which is expected to be passed by the Dáil on Thursday 19th March and Seanad on Friday 20th March.
 
Full details on this are available at  https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/99104a-covid-19-coronavirus/ this will continue to be updated as the situation progresses