Cork boy 'coasting' through lockdown making handmade gifts for his granny and helping his community

Cork boy 'coasting' through lockdown making handmade gifts for his granny and helping his community
Conor McLoughlin has made coasters out of old wood for his granny who is cocooning.

From getting his homework done to repainting local landmarks in his vicinity and making homemade wooden coasters for his granny who is cocooning, one Cork boy has been immensely busy whilst in lockdown. 

Conor McLoughlin, 12, from Donoughmore featured on Echo Live last month for his trojan work alongside his father Brian, who is the second-generation owner of McLoughlin & Son Decorators based in Ballincollig. 

When lockdown began, the father and son duo decided to devote their extra time to sprucing up various fixtures within 2km of their home. 

Conor McLoughlin hard at work repainting a local water pump in Donoughmore.
Conor McLoughlin hard at work repainting a local water pump in Donoughmore.

The dream team first tackled a bridge close to where they live, giving it a new lease of life with some red paint. After seeing the positive effects of their work, Brian and Conor decided to keep going and freshen up a few more spots close to home. 

Their combined efforts have seen the bridge along with three water pumps and the gates of an old Famine Cemetery all freshly repainted, much to the delight of the local community. 

"People are stopping me all the time to thank us," Brian said. 

"Our local postmistress bought Conor a big bar of Aero and ice cream to thank him and Conor’s teacher even got in contact to congratulate him."

Conor McLoughlin sawing wood to make coasters.
Conor McLoughlin sawing wood to make coasters.

Brian lauded his son’s work ethic and positive attitude amid the challenges of the pandemic. 

"He’s the type of kid who is smiling from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to sleep. 

"Nothing is a problem and he's always happy and willing to help."

Brian, whose business will be reopening on Monday as the Government's first stage of the road map to reopening the country commences, said he greatly enjoyed the extra time spent with his son. 

"It’s been great to spend the time together and good for the mental health aspect of things to have something to focus on whilst in lockdown," he said. 

Conor McLoughlin varnishing the coasters.
Conor McLoughlin varnishing the coasters.

Conor, who is a sixth class student at St Joseph's National School is due to start at Presentation Brothers College if schools reopen in September. 

In the meantime, Conor is keeping busy with homework and has recently undertaken a new project recycling old wood to make handmade gifts for those who could do with a pick-me-up whilst in lockdown.

"I’m cutting logs for the winter at the moment and clearing some space in the garden," Brian said, explaining how the idea came about. 

Looking at a small piece of wood, Brian thought that by cutting thin discs they might make nice coasters.

Coasters drying with a coat of varnish. Made by Conor McLoughlin.
Coasters drying with a coat of varnish. Made by Conor McLoughlin.

"I cut the initial notch in the wood and then Conor saws them, sands then and submerges them in the varnish," Brian said. 

"We’ll be giving them as a gift to Conor’s granny who is cocooning at home to hopefully lift her spirits a little," he said.

Do you know someone who is going above and beyond to help people in this time of need? 

Send an email to news@theecho.ie nominating the person you think deserves to be a community champion, along with your name and contact details and we will feature one champion every week in The Echo and on Echolive.ie.

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