GARDAÍ in west Cork have been tasked with helping elderly people get their medication during the Covid-19 crisis.
In recent days, medications have been delivered to people on the Beara peninsula by community gardaí attached to Bantry Garda Station.
Similar actions have been taken by community gardaí in the Clonakilty and Macroom Garda districts.
“We have contacted all GPs and chemists in the west Cork area because there is worry about the elderly,” Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said. “Where we have elderly and vulnerable people, we are getting involved.”
He explained that the medications are being dispensed after consultations by phone with doctors by the elderly patients. Gardaí delivering the medications prevents the drugs being given to the wrong hands, he said.
Chief Supt Cadogan urged anyone availing of the service being provided by community gardaí to give gardaí their eircode.
On Monday, gardaí announced that the force is hiring up to 210 additional vehicles to provide additional mobility in order “to provide increased community support and community engagement across the country”.
A Garda spokesman said: “These ‘contingency’ vehicles will be used to maintain personal interactions and where needed to assist and support people, which may include collecting medical prescriptions, attending hospital appointments and other supports they may need. They are not ‘primary response vehicles’.”
And he said: “An Garda Síochána continue to urge families, neighbours, and community groups to engage with people in line with social distancing guidelines.
“As an organisation, gardaí across the country are being asked to actively identify those persons most at need, particularly those with limited local family or social support. In these cases An Garda Síochána will assist.”
President of the Garda Representative Association, Jim Mulligan, has said frontline gardaí will not be found wanting in protecting people and communities throughout the country.