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Frontline community gardai praised for helping the vulnerable

Pensioner Paula McCadden, from Ballygall, said that gardai have been helping her through the health crisis.

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Paula McCadden, from Ballygall, receives her shopping from Community Garda Louise O’Sullivan (right) and probationer Garda Anna Szczepan (PA)

Paula McCadden, from Ballygall, receives her shopping from Community Garda Louise O’Sullivan (right) and probationer Garda Anna Szczepan (PA)

Paula McCadden, from Ballygall, receives her shopping from Community Garda Louise O’Sullivan (right) and probationer Garda Anna Szczepan (PA)

Frontline gardai have been praised for their help in delivering shopping and medication to people cocooning during the coronavirus crisis.

Gardai have been deployed in communities across the country to assist in a range of roles.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, members of An Garda Siochana have been at the forefront, delivering medicine for people self-isolating, collecting pensions and food shopping for people cocooning.

Community Garda have been hailed for their work in helping vulnerable people during the crisis, and providing much-needed company to those who have been confined to their homes.

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Members of An Garda continue to engage in a wide range of community activities (Brian Lawless/PA)

Members of An Garda continue to engage in a wide range of community activities (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Members of An Garda continue to engage in a wide range of community activities (Brian Lawless/PA)

Officers call to supermarkets and pharmacies to buy the list of essentials before going to the homes of pensioners and those who are cocooning.

Garda Louise O’Sullivan and probationer Garda Anna Szczepan are just two of those officers tasked with helping residents in the Finglas area of Dublin.

Pensioner Paula McCadden, from Ballygall, said that gardai have been helping her through the health crisis.

“It is a wonderful and caring service, it’s an efficient service,” she said.

“Garda Louise has been looking after me and she is a wonderful garda. It’s a credit to An Garda Siochana.

“Also, the way things are going at the moment, they are not so pleasant, but the garda is here today for me and I’m sure for a lot of people.

“It’s helping me get through this and I’ve been looking for Louise all morning. There are never any worries and she brings a smile to me every time she visits.

“We can’t have too much social interaction as before but we are getting through it wonderfully. I know their time is limited but it’s great to chat.”

Derek Healy, a housing manager at Dublin City Council, said without the help of community gardai, the meals on wheels service would be lost.

He said there has been a huge increase in their demand for the service.

He added: “The people who are cocooning can’t get out and about so they need the service from ourselves and the community gardai. Without the gardai we would be lost.

“The meals on wheels have been organised through the HSE so we are coordinating with them and assisting them and getting in touch with any residents that ring the Covid-19 helpline number.

“We have vulnerable people and if there are any that we think have mental health issues, we ask for gardai assistance. The gardai then call and bring some of the food to these vulnerable people.”

PA