Report on the Response & Activity of the Irish Association to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

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Order of Malta, Irish Association
Report on the Response & Activity of the Irish Association to the Covid-19 Corona Virus Pandemic

The Irish Association of the Order of Malta is in full compliance with the Irish Government’s directives and current emergency legislation, and it has adapted its essential hospitaller services accordingly. Activities run by the Association and its volunteer auxiliaries such as Care in the Community and The Knight Run continue their care for the elderly, the vulnerable, the marginalized and the homeless. Even though the premises of Malta Services Drogheda are closed temporarily in compliance with the government’s directives in this crisis, the work goes on. Its staff continue to operate a Community & Remote Support Service – this involves daily contact with service users by telephone, and if required, a personal visit by staff while observing social distance. Service users and their families continue to receive support and assistance with their personal hygiene, food, medical prescriptions etc. Day trips (walks, shopping, appointments) and meals for individual service users continue to be provided within the protocols of social distance. This is one of the Irish Association’s flagship projects that is
managed and operated by members of the Irish Association, and it provides Day Services to 107 adults with disabilities and it employs 40 staff. Also, many individual knights and dames are engaged actively in their local community initiatives in helping to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.

Since the Irish Government and its Health Services Executive (HSE) initiated the emergency measures to counter the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic almost a month ago, the Irish Association of the Order of Malta and its Ambulance Corps have been cooperating closely with the HSE’s national emergency response programme. At the beginning of the crisis in Ireland, the Order’s National Ambulance Corps under its Director, Cmdr. John Wright KM, established a task force that continues to monitor the evolving situation daily, and it has hosted conference calls in relation to daily operations and specialist training. Also, it is collaborating closely with the National Ambulance Service, Civil Defence, The Red Cross, and other volunteer charitable humanitarian organisations. The Joint Volunteer Council (JVC) for coordinating emergency operations nationwide will be accommodated and facilitated in the Order’s national headquarters at St John’s House, 32 Clyde Road, Dublin. The Order’s Ambulance Corps continues with its work in supporting our local communities.

Members of the Irish Association and its Ambulance Corps also join their principal chaplain, Dom Henry O’Shea, OSB, in daily prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Holy Mass that is live streamed daily from Glenstal Abbey. Also, members are united in prayer with the Holy Father’s intentions. The principal chaplains of both the Association (Dom Henry) and the Ambulance Corps (Fr. Thomas Rogers), and the other chaplains continue to encourage members and volunteer auxilliaries with their special masses and prayers, spiritual guidance and pastoral care that are provided frequently through telephone calls and social media.

Dr. Declan M. Downey, KM,
Communications Delegate
Irish Association

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