Our weather woes will encourage us to help Haitians

Over the past three months this region has suffered at the hands of mother nature — first with the floods which devastated and continues to devastate lives in parts of South Galway and in and around the Claregalway area where many people are still to return to their homes.

And for the past four weeks, we have all felt the impact of the cold chill which brought our roads and transport infrastructure to a standstill and which has led to the highest number of falls and slips on ice that any of us can remember.

So we all know what it is like to be at the mercy of events that are not directly caused by us and about which we can do little but sit and wait until the temperatures rise.

Because of that we have to be more sympathetic for the people of Haiti who have been devastated by the horrific events of Tuesday evening when vast areas around Port au Prince were levelled by a massive earthquake.

Unlike the floods and ice that fell upon us continuously and silently, they had no warning of the terrible events that were about to kill tens of thousands and horrifically maim many others. Walls fell in about them as they slept. Families had no chance as their homes came in on top of them. The quake and its aftershock were efficient cruel killers, hitting architecture that was no match for the shaking the ground took.

The photos coming in on the wires from Haiti are in many cases too gruesome to publish as people were struck down as they went about their business. Buildings collapsed onto the streets and more importantly, many of these were buildings which housed those who would have been at the frontline of helping the sick, the dying, and the vulnerable. Hospitals and aid agencies were levelled, trapping countless numbers under the rubble even as you read this.

Haiti is a long way from us all. So many of us would have swapped our temperatures for theirs in recent weeks, but they pay a price for living where they do, and it is much higher than the inconvenience we experience from the wind and the rain which lashes us for most of the year on this mid-Atlantic rock that we call home.

The worst of our winter is behind us now, but we still have to be careful as we go for a few days because the melting snow and slush can often pose a bigger danger.

So let us give some thought to what we can do to help those in Haiti who need supplies and aid this evening.

In the coming days, the many fantastic agencies for which this country is famous will be looking for your help. Give them a few bob or whatever you can. We know what it is like to be at the mercy of nature so we have some small inkling of what they are going through. God help them.



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