A Cork man is raising money for Irish Community Rapid Response this Christmas following his own encounter with the response team and their vital work.
Niall O’ Sullivan from Dromtariffe lives a few miles from the ICRR base in Rathcoole, County Cork and has always been familiar with their life-saving work.
However, last July, Niall needed the assistance of the ICRR staff himself, following an accident at his home.
“I live in the parish and there’s one or two locals involved in the organisation down there and it’s right next to our local GAA so we pass it regularly. It’s something that we were thinking of donating to ourselves anyway then when I needed it, I suppose I just felt I had to do something,” said Niall O’ Sullivan.
“I just wanted to do something for them to give back.”
Niall was transferred to Cork University Hospital within minutes. For people living in rural areas in Munster and across the rest of Ireland, the ICRR provide effective and timely emergency medical care by both land and air.
Currently, the charity has ten rapid response vehicles, one helicopter, and 237 volunteer doctors.
However, as they are not government-funded, Covid-19 has negatively impacted much of their work and plans for expansion.
According to Karen O’Sullivan, Key Relationship Manager at the ICRR, each Air Ambulance Mission costs and an average of €3,500.
“We had to cut down to a five-day week. We’re now back up to a seven-day week but we have goals, and we want to expand on our volunteer doctors, we want to expand on our Heli service, we want to potentially become a 24/7 service. We’ve lots of goals and because of Covid we are restricted," she said.
Fundraisers such as Niall’s are an extremely important part of the work carried out by the ICCR and he is encouraging the people of Cork to support the cause this Christmas.
“Having a service like ICRR on our doorstep is fantastic and it is so important that it is maintained.”
So far, Niall’s has raised over €5,000 in just one week. To donate, visit Niall's fundraiser for ICRR on gofundme.com.