Cork convoy: Caitríona Twomey making second trip with more aid

Cork convoy: Caitríona Twomey making second trip with more aid

Penny Dinners co-ordinator Caitríona Twomey with volunteers and staff at CGI Food Park, Knockgriffin, Midleton, Co Cork. CGI Food Park has supplied a bay where trucks can be loaded and volunteers were getting the supplies ready for delivery to villages in Poland, train stations, the border crossing at Medyka, and Ukraine hospitals. Pictures: Larry Cummins

PENNY Dinners co-ordinator Caitríona Twomey is getting ready to head back to Poland with further supplies of humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.

Ms Twomey, who last month led a Cork Humanitarian Aid Ireland convoy of vans to Poland, will return to the Ukrainian border in two weeks’ time. She told The Echo that she intends to fly to Poland with a team of five volunteers and distribute humanitarian aid at the Ukrainian border.

 Polish staff members Marcin Bitner, Lukasz Tryba and Krzysztof Falgowski at CGI Foodpark, Knockgriffin, Midleton, Co Cork.
Polish staff members Marcin Bitner, Lukasz Tryba and Krzysztof Falgowski at CGI Foodpark, Knockgriffin, Midleton, Co Cork.

“We’re flying out on 13 April, and DB Schenker have given us two articulated lorries, with drivers, so they’re going to take care of getting the shipment of humanitarian aid to the border and we’ll meet them with rented vans and we’ll do the rest,” Ms Twomey said.

“Our friends in CGI Food Park in Midleton have very kindly given us a bay where the artics can back up and be loaded, so today we’re going to start the task of getting supplies to CGI and the lads there will take care of getting it all ready for delivery to the villages in Poland, to the train stations, to the border crossing at Medyka, and for the hospitals in Kyiv and Lviv.

“We’ll also be delivering to the Redemptorists, who are able to deliver further into Ukraine,” she said.

Learned from previous trip 

Plans are at an advanced stage for the return journey to Poland and Ms Twomey said the volunteers had learned a lot from their initial delivery.

“We have it all more or less sorted, just to get packed up, and if anyone has medical supplies, that’s always welcome at Penny Dinners,” she said. 

“We’re very lucky this time around as we have generators, fire extinguishers, and quite a bit of medical aid.

“After the success of our initial visit to the border last month, we learned a lot and we’re going back very focussed on bringing out exactly what is needed.”

CGI Food Park warehouse manager Roy Kearney said the company was a long-time supporter of Penny Dinners and they were proud to help Ms Twomey.

“Caitríona is an inspiration and we all look up to her here,” he said.

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