Communities right across the city and county are pulling together in wonderfully innovative ways to make life that little bit easier for people most affected by the pandemic, particularly those stuck at home cocooning.
One organisation at the heart of the effort is the GAA, who through their clubs have made trojan efforts to help those most in need at this time. For many, the GAA is a huge social outlet and its absence is hugely felt every day both at club and county level. At this time of the year we should be looking forward to another Championship season but that seems a long way off at the moment.
Paul Byrnes, former Executive Editor of GAA with RTE Sport and a native of Oranmore, together with the recently appointed ‘Community Champion’ for Galway City, Brendan Mulry have come up with an initiative to make a difference.
For the duration of the lockdown period a number of Galway hurling and football legends including 3-time All Ireland winning manager Cyril Farrell, All-Ireland winning captain Ray Silke, two-time All-Ireland winning manager John O’Mahony and Joe Connolly who captained Galway to All-Ireland success in 1980 have all very kindly made themselves available to talk to GAA fans over the next few weeks who are cocooning.
“We are very lucky to have the likes of Cyril, John, Ray and Joe on board who have given us so many magical and memorable moments in the maroon and white,” said Paul Byrnes. If you would like to receive a call from one of our legends or would like to arrange a call on behalf of a family member or friend just contact your ‘Community Champion’ Brendan Mulry on 087 2194243 or [email protected] who will arrange the calls over the coming weeks.
Brendan Mulry said that while there aren’t any hard and fast rules, the focus is really on those fans who maybe need this most.
“Think of a parent or grandparent who is at home isolating who would love to chat all things GAA with a legend of the game.”Pat Kearney, Chairperson of Galway GAA said; “This a great idea at these unprecedented times. Galway great Iggy Clarke who chairs our health and wellbeing committee has done a huge amount of work in recent weeks taking calls from all over the county and is available if anybody want to get in touch with him.
“We are all hugely missing the GAA and look forward to the day when we can play our competitions again and the likes of Tuam, Kenny Park and Pearse Stadium are open to our players and supporters to enjoy,” said Mr Mulry.
Each Local authority across Ireland has had a Community Champion appointed in recent weeks. Through community mobilisation, the aim of the programme is to make sure that those cocooning and people with additional needs have access to the highest quality information and support.
If you need help, want to help, or are already helping please contact your Community Champion, Brendan Mulry for Galway City on 087 2194243, [email protected] or Steve Dolan for Galway County on 087 4068766 or [email protected].