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New World Disasters Report launched by Irish Red Cross he latest edition of the World Disasters Report was launched at the Head Office of the Irish Red Cross and endorsed by the Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr Michael Kitt TD who addressed the launch. The theme this year for the World Disasters Report,published annually by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and co-funded by Irish Aid and the Irish Red Cross, is “Discrimination in Disasters”. It looks at those who are discriminated against, why, how discrimination manifests itself and how it increases vulnerability. The Report also makes recommendations on how to ensure that the needs of marginalised and vulnerable populations are taken into account in disaster preparedness programmes. The World Disasters Report is considered a vital instrument in the development sector; it throws a searchlight on key elements in disaster relief programmes and looks at how they can be improved to reduce human suffering as a result of disasters. The report is hugely significant worldwide; over 20,000 copies of the full report and its summaries are circulated in English, French, Arabic & Spanish. In addition, further translations of the report and summaries are produced in Armenian, Chinese, Greek, Khmer, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Turkish and Thai. The Minister of State for Overseas Development Mr. Michael Kitt T.D. recommended that the points raised in the Report are taken on board to ensure that the needs of the vulnerable groups are met, both in the way that they prepare for disasters, and in their response to emergencies and recovery programmes. The World Disasters Report 2007 is only available from KP books: www.kpbooks.com

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Cover photo: New Acting Secretary General John Roycroft with Hanna Sheahan from Cork whose long years of service with the Red Cross was recognised in November. The Irish Red cross has appointed John Roycroft to the position of Secretary General in an acting capacity. John joins the Red Cross on secondment from the Department of Justice where he has worked in a number of senior management positions including the Reception and Integration Agency, International Policy and the Garda Síochána Complaints Board.

contents New Acting Secretary General appointed................................................................2 Ministers launch of new ambulances.......................................................................3

New Red Cross Branches .......................................................................................8

The Irish Red Cross

Top Lifesavers Decided ...........................................................................................9

Crois Dhearg na hEireann

International strategy announced ............................................................................9

Contact Communications at:

Long serving volunteers recognised ........................................................................4 Red Cross activites in your area..............................................................................6

Donations to Sudan tops €425,000.......................................................................10 New uniforms introduced .......................................................................................10 Dubliner appointed to Malawi.................................................................................11

The Irish Red Cross 16 Merrion Square. Dublin 2.

Bangladesh Cyclone ..............................................................................................11

Tel:

+353 1 642 4600

Bernd returns to Ardfert after 60 years ..................................................................12 New Practical First Aid courses .............................................................................12

Aoife MacEoin, Magazine Editor

+353 1 642 4628

Graduate on Humanitarian Law course .................................................................13

Fax:

+353 1 661 4461

Help for flood victims in UK and Asia ....................................................................13

Email: communications@redcross.ie

International praise for FACE organisers...............................................................14

Website:

Listening in Sri Lanka ............................................................................................15 Stephen Ryan in Geneva.......................................................................................16

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www.redcross.ie


news

New ambulances for Irish Red Cross ew ambulances have begun serving communities in the east, north-east, south and eastern regions since they were launched earlier this year. The Minister for Health and Children, Ms. Mary Harney TD launched six new ambulances for Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Dublin (Lucan, Sth Co. Dublin and Dublin Fingal), Cork (Cork City and Fermoy) and Limerick City at a special event in Lucan, Co Dublin last April, while in May the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr. Eamon O’Cuiv TD launched ambulances that will serve Leenane, Co. Galway, Carlingford, Co. Louth, and Inchigeela, Co. Cork. Announcing the allocation of the vehicles, Mr. Tony Lawlor Vice-Chairman of the Irish Red Cross said the Red Cross and its volunteers was striving to ensure that every area in the country can access quality ambulance and First Aid services. Thanking the Minister for Health and Children Mr Lawlor said: “Research proves that swift and often very basic actions can be the difference between keeping someone alive long enough to get the treatment they need from the health professionals and losing them completely. With these new vehicles, we will be in a better position to do this and to provide the training needed to people outside the Red Cross to do this.” Speaking at a special ceremony in Galway to mark the second launch Tony Lawlor, said that these new ambulances would significantly enhance the ability of smaller communities to host events locally and to have confidence in swift and skilled First Aid services in their own areas.

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Pictured from left to right at the launch of the Leenane ambulance for the Connemara area is Kevin Coyne, Des Kavanagh, Minister O'Cuiv, Tony Lawlor, Tim Clesham, Rosaleen Coyne, Billy Gilmore. “They herald a new era in local development and this is thanks to the generous funding which the Minister has provided in line with the CLÁR1 funding programme, targeting communities of special geographic or economic need. The ambulances will be positioned in outlying or isolated areas to ensure that these communities had organised all kinds of cultural and sporting events safely. “ Moreover, these ambulances will also help us to ensure the delivery of the government’s own disaster plan, should the need arise, in line with our role as laid down in the Framework for Major Emergency Management,” Mr Lawlor said. The Framework for Major Emergency Management outline’s the role of the Red Cross as an auxiliary to the state in major emergencies.

Minister O’Dea launches new ambulances in Limerick ix newly-acquired ambulances and four mini-buses were officially handed over to branches of the Irish Red Cross by the Minister for Defence, Mr. Willie O’Dea TD, at the University of Limerick in November. They will benefit communities in Limerick, Clonmel, Offaly, Laois, Navan, Slane, Roscrea, Bantry, Tipperary, and Midleton. The ambulances will help Red Cross volunteers provide First Aid and casualty care at neighbourhood sporting and community events. The four new mini-buses will allow the Irish Red Cross to transport their own members to major events, where they provide First Aid services. They will also provide necessary transport services for the infirm, senior citizens and disadvantaged groups within these communities. All Irish Red Cross ambulances carry automated external defibrillators, and since 2006, scores of community groups have now purchased defibrillators from the Irish Red Cross, and around 1,000 new members joined the Irish Red Cross as a result of our engagement with community groups and encouragement of their fundraising efforts to get defibrillators and training”

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Minister for Defence Mr. Willie O’Dea presenting (left to right) Hilary Parkinson, Andrew Kelly, and Fintan Breen from Limerick Red Cross with their new ambulance.

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news

Our long-serving volunteers honoured Anthony Lawlor Tipperary 25 Years Service Medal ith thirty-three years’ experience in the Irish Red Cross, National ViceChairman Tony Lawlor is no stranger to the challenges of being a volunteer in the world’s largest voluntary organization. Clocking up around 30 hours a week of voluntary, unpaid work for the Red Cross is worth it, says Tony who is also the Chairman of the Training Working Group and Chairman of the Central Unit Control. His work at both national and international level have taken him all over Ireland and to disaster-struck countries around the world.

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Betty Bennett Piltown, Louth 25 Years Service Medal native of Piltown Co.Louth, Betty began her long commitment as a volunteer with the Red Cross in 1959 when she gained her First Aid certificate. Betty has provided care of every kind to people, particularly older people for whom she has arranged numerous outings. Betty is also well-known to blood donors in Drogheda as it is she who hands out the Tayto, Guinness and other sustenance to them when they give blood as she volunteers with the mobile clinic which comes to the town four times a year.

A Front (left to right): Suzanne O’Keeffe, Tom Horwell, David Andrews Chairman Irish Red Cross, Hanna Sheahan, Geraldine Lawless, Anthony Leech, Aidan Maguire, Betty Bennett, Dominic Burke Back: Maurice Ryan, Michael McCormack, Aidan Maguire, David O’Reilly, Mary Byrne, Joe Millar, John Rooney. Not pictured: Con McNamara, Tony Lawlor.

Hanna Sheahan

Anthony Leech

Cork 50 years service medal nown by many as simply “Ma”, Hanna Sheahan’s involvement with the Red Cross has spanned over a half a century. She was a founding member of the Mallow Branch in 1951, and is the only surviving active member today. Hanna’s experience in the Red Cross has seen her through many historical events in our nation’s history such as the Buttevant train disaster, the arrival of the Hungarian refugees to Co. Clare, and the setting up of the Meals on Wheels service for the elderly. She still lectures in First Aid today, and she has helped save many a life after putting her skills to good use at car crashes and other accidents.

Louth 50 years service medal native of the ‘wee’ county all his life, Anthony joined the Red Cross as a cadet in August 1956 after an accident involving a young friend of his. Since then, he has been present as part of the local Red Cross team at such historical events as the troubles in the north of Ireland, when he was part of the Red Cross teams involved in meeting with the refugees that had arrived from across the border to seek shelter at Gormanstown Army Camp. Anthony and his colleagues would arrive every night after work, and meet the displaced people, have a chat with them, and help to set up the sleeping and living accommodations for entire families that had been displaced due to the troubles. Some of these families stayed at Gormanstown Army Camp for many months before suitable housing was found for them in the south, and during this time, Anthony would volunteer his free time “every night after work for many months” to care for these people. And this didn’t include his other Red Cross duties on Saturdays and Sundays. Anthony jokes that his wife Eithne would place a photo of him on the mantelpiece so that his two daughters would remember what their father looked like!

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Joe Millar Dublin 50 years service medal oe Millar was born and bred in Dublin, and has served in the Irish Red Cross for over fifty years. His experience in providing First Aid and humanitarian assistance has been of great benefit to those living and working in the area.

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Mary Byrne Drogheda, Louth 25 Years Service Medal ince she was 16 years of age, Mary has been at the coalface of dealing with all kinds of ailments and injuries, particularly fractured arms and legs sustained in local Gaelic football and soccer matches, where she is regularly on-hand to provide First Aid. Off-pitch, the tireless mother-of-two is also busy with her work as the Youth Officer and Branch Secretary for the Red Cross in Drogheda.

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Tom Horwell Dundalk, Louth 25 Years Service Medal om Horwell’s decision to do First Aid and join the Red Cross came after his grandmother fell one Christmas coming home from midnight mass and Tom realised that with some basic First Aid know-how he would have been much more useful. Thankfully his grandmother survived, Tom joined the Red Cross and he is now known throughout Ireland for his work as the Chairman of the Youth Working Group.

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news John Rooney

Geraldine Lawless

Con McNamara

Drogheda, Louth 25 Years Service Medal

Dundalk, Louth 25 Years Service Medal s Area Director of Units for the Irish Red Cross in Louth, Geraldine Lawless is completely involved in her work as an unpaid volunteer organizing training sessions and teams of people to provide vitally-needed First Aid services in her local community.

Tipperary 25 Years Service Medal

ohn has been a resident of Co. Louth all his life, and joined the Red Cross back in the late 60’s. He has been heavily involved in all the Red Cross activities such as attending community games, GAA matches, and race-meets as part of the Red Cross team over the years, and he still drives the ambulance to this day. Many years ago when Mosney was an adventure centre, John would travel down with his Red Cross colleagues and a group of disabled people from the community for a week’s holiday. He would be involved in all aspects of their health, care and safety during that week and in ensuring that they all enjoyed themselves. When asked how he would describe his relationship with the Red Cross over the years, John joyfully said; “Well, put it this way, the only thing I’m married to is the Red Cross”, and a happy marriage it has been too!

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Dominic Burke Galway 25 Years Service Medal ominic Burke is a force to be reckoned with. Not only has he been a member of the Red Cross since 1961, but during his lifetime he has won six All-Ireland medals in First Aid finals, and met five of our nation’s presidents, his favourite being President de Valera whom he says was particularly friendly. A fireman by vocation until he broke his back twenty years ago, Dominic found that in his job he dealt with many horrific scenes where what he learned about caring and coping with crisis in the Red Cross held him in good stead. Today, Dominic who is a member of the national Executive Committee of the Irish Red Cross, continues to provide vitally-needed First Aid services to his community.

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Aidan Maguire Drogheda, Louth 25 Years Service Medal idan Maguire was born and raised directly across the road from the Irish Red Cross office in Drogheda, so it was only natural that as soon as he could, he walked over the way, and joined up! With three decades of service, Aidan (52) is still very much an active member in the organisation today. He attends Gaelic football matches as part of a Red Cross First Aid team, which has seen him look after fractured limbs and other injuries, and about two or three years ago at a football match in Dunleer, an elderly man in his seventies collapsed during the game, and Aidan performed CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) on him.

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Gerard Kavanagh Drogheda, Louth 15 Years Service Medal erard Kavanagh recalls a number of dramatic incidents in which he was able to assist as a result of knowing First Aid. In one of these, he recalls tending to a cyclist who smashed through the back window of a car near his workplace at Tesco’s, while on another occasion he took care of a neighbour who slammed his head on the road after jumping off a wall and who ultimately needed to remain still and as calm as possible until his neck and spine could be protected with a neck brace by ambulance crew when they arrived.

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Michael McCormack Dundalk, Louth & Cavan 25 Years Service Medal ichael was born and raised in Dundalk in Co.Louth, and became involved with the Red Cross in 1981. Now in his capacity as Cavan Area Director of Units, his First Aid skills have been called into play on many occasions, most notably for Michael during an event when someone required CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) urgently after they collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Knowing exactly what needed to be done, Michael administered urgent First Aid and the person went on to make a full recovery thanks in part to his effort. The ability to help someone out of a difficult situation is what drives Michael in his long-standing work with the Red Cross.

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Suzanne O’Keefe Louth 25 Years Service Medal uzanne was born and raised in Drogheda and joined the Red Cross when aged just 15 years. She recently realised her dream of becoming a fully-qualified Carer and looks after eight older people in their homes. Suzanne has always wanted to work with older people and she combines this with her work dispensing First Aid treatment on the sidelines at numerous Drogheda United and local GAA matches.

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on was born and raised near Tipperary town, and to this day still lives in the County, and to quote a famous song “he never more roamed, from my own native home, in Tipperary so far away”. Con remembers many situations in which he has been called to use his skills as a First-Aider but recalls one particular incident when he witnessed a man falling off a wall as he was waiting for a bus. The man had had a coronary, and Con was on hand to administer First Aid before the patient was transferred to the hospital to make a full recovery!

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David O’Reilly Drogheda, Louth 25 Years Service Medal avid has been a member of the Red Cross since 1979, a year he specifically remembers as this was when Pope John Paul II said mass locally on Tullyesker Hill at Killineer near his native Drogheda. Some years later, David was a member of the Co. Louth team and in 1987, they secured 1st place in the Dublin Union Transport Cup. They also won the All Ireland Presidents trophy for their expertise in First Aid in 1989, and again in 1990. He was also a member of the Co. Louth team that represented Ireland in the International First Aid Championships in Heidelberg, Germany in1990 when they secured third place. It is important to note that at all times during these victories; the Louth team was led by Dominic Nugent, a much-loved and valued member of the Red Cross who sadly passed away two years ago.

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Maurice Ryan Tipperary 25 Years Service Medal aurice was born and reared in Dundrum about eight miles outside Tipperary town, where he still lives to this day. He received his First Aid certificate from the Red Cross in 1980, about one or two years after he had become initially involved. In the early days Maurice was “out everyday” as a qualified First-Aider, attending local hurling matches, and tending to any cuts, scrapes, or bruises needing attention, and he spent twenty years going to the hurling and selflessly giving of his time in case there was someone in need.

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regional news

What Red Cross is doing in YOUR area! CARLOW:

CONNEMARA, GALWAY:

New ambulance needs funds

Big demand for Red Cross

Funds are urgently needed to pay for a new ambulance for the Irish Red Cross in Co.Carlow, according to the Carlow Acting Area Director of Units, Ingrid Brennan. A series of fundraising events involving a local music venue and night club were helping to raise the local contribution. Ingrid reported that her Red Cross unit are also busy with plans to highlight the importance for people to learn how to use defibrillators and perform Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation to help people who suffer from cardiac arrest. And members of the Irish Red Cross in Carlow will undergo further in service training in February and March.

A busy summer for local equestrian and other duties kept the three Irish Red Cross ambulances based at Leenane, Clonbur and Oughterard very busy according to the Connemara Area Director of Units, Tim Clesham. He thanked national Vice-Chairman Tony Lawlor for his attendance at the launch of the new Irish Red Cross boathouse in Tourmakeady recently, noting that a new group of 16 people have now completed their training programme to provide search and rescue services on Loughs Corrib and Mask. But he also stressed the need for the Irish Red Cross to look at developing a regionally-based higher level training programmes so that members do not have to spend many hours in their spare time on the road to attend training courses. National Vice-Chairman, Tony Lawlor advised that regional development would address the need for training locally. He also commended Irish Red Cross in Connemara Area for their growth, noting that in just four years they had got four new boats up and running, three new ambulances, two new boathouses and a 4x4 vehicle!

CAVAN:

Red Cross demand up There has been an increase in demand for Irish Red Cross services in the county, according to the local Area Director of Units, Michael McCormack who said the Red Cross have provided First Aid at 25 events since the start of the year. And the demand for First Aid skills will also be supported by the completion of training for three new instructors within the Area A new Unit has been set up in Ballinagh and the existing group at Shercock continues to grow in strength..

CLARE:

Surge in youth membership Demand for Irish Red Cross services is up by a third, according to the mid-west Regional Director of Units, John Costin. And the Red Cross in the area were also witnessing a surge in young people joining the Irish Red Cross thanks to a major publicity drive involving advertisements in the local media, flyers and the parish newsletters, he reported on behalf of Clare Area Director of Units, Shirley Benson. Over a hundred new members have joined the Red Cross since the start of the year, according to John, who also noted that employers in the county could count on the Irish Red Cross to meet all their Occupational First Aid needs as additional Irish Red Cross instructors locally have been trained in teaching OFA. Involvement with community AED (defibrillator) groups is buoyant also. This month (Dec) also sees the Irish Red Cross locally move into its new premises in Ennis.

CORK:

New ambulances kept busy “Dutywise, Cork is very, very busy” according to Ted Noonan who is both the Area Director of Units for Cork as well as being the Regional Director of Units for Cork, Waterford, Kerry and Tipperary. In service training provision was active and participation in competition training continues. Ted reported that the county’s two new minibuses and two new ambulances were very busy.

DONEGAL:

GALWAY:

New members needed There is an urgent need for new members in the Galway City Units, according to the local Area Director of Units Brian Madden who said the Irish Red Cross in the county will launch its new recruitment drive in the New Year. However, in Portumna the number of Irish Red Cross members locally is growing while the interest from schoolchildren and students in schools in the Woodford area is very heartening as this is a new Irish Red Cross branch. Meanwhile in Gort, Claregalway and in Athenry several members of the Irish Red Cross have completed courses in Caring in conjunction with Caring for Carers. The Irish Red Cross throughout Galway are also promoting Basic Life Support (BLS) courses to staff working in nursing homes. It is planned to set up a new Branch in Athenry soon. Over a hundred events have been provided with First Aid services by the Irish Red Cross, according to Brian Madden who extended his thanks to Irish Red Cross members from Clare, Mayo, Offaly, Tipperary and Roscommon for their help.

First Aid needs increase Finn Harps, have been one of the biggest sources of demand for First Aid cover this year, according to the Area Director of Units, Corinne Robinson. Corinne said that the Irish Red Cross in Donegal provide all of the First Aid services at the Finn Harps matches and this is in addition to a growing schedule generally of events where the expertise of Irish Red Cross volunteers is required to provide First Aid. Three new Branches of the Irish Red Cross have been set-up as a result of the interest of the people locally to have a defibrillator in their community. Corinne told the meeting that both the Order of Malta and the British Red Cross in the north of Ireland helped members of the Irish Red Cross when needed. National Vice-Chairman, Tony Lawlor said the Irish Red Cross would warmly welcome any further involvement with the British Red Cross on a cross-border basis.

KERRY:

Kingdom’s appeal for new members Athletic events in Castleisland and elsewhere kept Irish Red Cross volunteers in Kerry very busy this year, according to local Area Director of Units Charlie Harnett. He thanked Limerick Area for their assistance with duties in North Kerry. A new Branch is being set up in Lauragh arising from community AED (defibrillator) interest. But the Irish Red Cross in the kingdom urgently needs new members in order to go on providing services, he said, adding that a recruitment drive would get underway in the New Year.

DUBLIN BOROUGH (CITY):

KILKENNY:

Small screen’s big demand

Join the Red Cross

The small screen is proving a source of big demand for members of the Irish Red Cross in the capital, with First Aid services provide to both “The Panel” and to the “Class Act” programmes on RTÉ. That’s according to Frances Kenny, Area Director of Units for the Irish Red Cross Dublin Borough. She also said that demand generally is very buoyant this year with weekend and night courses in First Aid proving particularly popular. Frances also reported that members of the Irish Red Cross in Dublin Borough were in big demand for their First Aid skills in concerts at the Big Top venue in the Phoenix Park and at the Dublin Community Games.

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New members are urgently needed in Kilkenny, according to Gerry O’Sullivan, Irish Red Cross Regional Director of Units for the South –East. And the Irish Red Cross also urgently need a safe and secure parking place for its ambulance, he said. Gerry advised that the old Irish Red Cross premises had fallen into disuse and was now being sold. He is confident that a rejuvenated Red Cross locally in a new premises would help to win new members in Kilkenny.


regional news LAOIS:

LEITRIM:

MONAGHAN:

Children lead by example

A national milestone...

A new Irish Red Cross Branch at Camross is up and running thanks to the work of Central Council Representative, Monica Middleton who trained the group in use of three locally based defibrillators, reported Gerry O’Sullivan. Gerry also advised that new members have joined the Irish Red Cross in Mountrath and in Raheen. Several parents, in fact, were led by the example of their children to learn First Aid after 35 young people joined the Irish Red Cross as Cadets in Mountrath. And Irish Red Cross volunteers have also been busy fundraising with over €9,000 raised in one bed push alone. The Area took delivery of a new minibus recently which is garaged at the Red Cross premises at Raheen. Thanks are also due to the busy volunteers in Laois for organising the venue and arrangements for the First Aid competitions which took place in the Heywood Community School, Abbeyleix again this year.

The new Irish Red Cross Branch in Dromahair is an important milestone in the development of the Irish Red Cross, nationally, noted the national Vice-Chairman, Tony Lawlor, as it now means that the Irish Red Cross can claim to have a presence in every county in Ireland for the first time. A second Irish Red Cross Branch looks set to emerge in Carraigallenn, near Dromreilly, also. Pat Merrick Regional Director North West was commended for his work with these new Units.

LIMERICK:

Boom year by the Shannon It’s been a boom year for the Irish Red Cross in Limerick City and County, reported local Area Director of Units, Andrew Kelly, with nine Red Cross First Aid Units providing a full service to people throughout the area. Moreover, three new Branches in Doon, Glin and Kilfinane are being created as a result of the Cross-Out Day initiative to promote defibrillators in communities throughout the country. In Glin alone over 100 local people have sought training from the Irish Red Cross in using a defibrillator. Rugby means that First Aid is in constant demand locally, with the Irish Red Cross in the area providing cover for Munster games at Thomond and also for a number of club fixtures too.

LONGFORD:

New ambulance sought Additional in-service training is being sought for Irish Red Cross members in Longford and a replacement ambulance is also being sought. A review will be undertaken to assist in its future development.

LOUTH:

Vive la France! The World Tractor event was one of the more unusual events provided withFirst Aid by local Units of the Red Cross, according to Louth Area Director of Units Geraldine Lawless. She reported that members of the Irish Red Cross in Louth also provided First Aid at Motorcross and at the national Community Games. The new minibus delivered to the Carlingford Branch is very busy. The competitions proved a big hit with members of the Cadet team and particularly with the Lawless family as it was Geraldine’s daughter, Marie who took first place in the individual event. Finally it was a case of a big “bienvenue” to the two former members of French Red Cross who have joined the Irish Red Cross in Louth. It was suggested they might consider being part of the Irish Red Cross team to provide First Aid at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2008.

MAYO:

Defibrillator promotion a success Horse shows and Gaelic matches have been the main source of demand in Co. Mayo, according to the Irish Red Cross Area Director of Units, Gerard McCallig. However, he also passed on the thanks and praise of the leader of the group of young people who were treated and assisted by members of the Irish Red Cross at a bus crash near Ballaghaderreen. The ongoing success of the Cross-Out day promotion of defibrillators has seen another community defibrillator group in Erris which is seeking to set-up a full Irish Red Cross Unit. New Branches of the Irish Red Cross are also earmarked for development in Tourmaceady and in Irishtown.

MEATH:

Call for branch support New members of the Irish Red Cross in Nobber are busy with training courses, reported Darryl Coen, Meath Area Director of Units. Darryl stressed – in a view that was echoed by national Vice-Chairman, Tony Lawlor – that existing members of the Irish Red Cross - especially at Area Committee level – must do everything to help and support new members and new Branches. Darryl also reported that First Aid and ambulance Units of the Irish Red Cross were busy with a number of events in Meath, including the Community Games event which required a 4x4 supplied owing to the impassability of the terrain caused by flooding. The Slane concerts featuring The Rolling Stones saw the Irish Red Cross cover one of the First Aid posts at the event. And Slane village is also the recipient of one of two new ambulances in the county, the other one going to Navan. The widespread introduction of new ambulances and the move towards standardisation means that one internal equipment layout of all ambulances is required nationally and Darryl Coen and Tom Horwell have agreed to draft the designs for this. The need for an intranet to provide important information and administrative services to members was also stressed by Darryl Coen.

Cross-border caring Irene Kerr, Area Director of Units reported continued growth in membership of the Irish Red Cross in Monaghan. GAA, community groups and youth leaders have been trained by the Red Cross in the use of defibrillators in an effort to give youngsters and people of all ages the best chance of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest. Aside from members themselves undertaking ongoing training, the Red Cross in Monaghan have also provided training to those looking after children and to carers of older people in conjunction with the County Childcare Committee and the Carers Association. Irene also reports that the Irish Red Cross in Monaghan have been working closely with the British Red Cross.

OFFALY:

Busy Banaher & Birr Banaher and Birr have been busy places for the Irish Red Cross, with many demands for First Aid services in both towns and around the county. A lot of fundraising locally, however, has meant that the county can now boast its first brand-new Irish Red Cross ambulance – but new members are urgently needed to keep up with demand!

ROSCOMMON:

Duties by the dozen! New Local Acting Area Director of Units, Máire Lowry reported that members of the Irish Red Cross had provided First Aid services at more than a dozen different events, including a rock concert. The group now have 25 members who are all trained to Intermediate First Aid level and also two fully-trained First Aid instructors. New Branches of the Irish Red Cross may well emerge in coming months as a result of community groups getting together in different parts of the county to organise defibrillators in their areas.

SLIGO:

New ambulance sought The new Irish Red Cross unit near Riverstown, is up and running according to the Regional Director of Units for the NorthWest, Pat Merrick, who added that funding for a new ambulance is being sought under the CLÁR programme. The new mountain rescue unit – the Irish Red Cross Sligo-Leitrim mountain rescue unit – has also received defibrillator training.

WATERFORD:

New trio of Branches thanks to Cross Out Day There are three new Irish Red Cross Branches which have emerged thanks to the Cross-Out Day promotion of defibrillators; Regional Director of Units, Ted Noonan told the Central Unit Control meeting. He also advised that Co. Waterford now has an ambulance and a 4x4 ambulance. He said that more work was needed to develop the organisation in Waterford City and extra leadership support would be vital here.

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regional news TIPPERARY:

WICKLOW:

260 Events Covered National Vice-Chairman and Deputy Area Director of Units for Tipperary, Tony Lawlor reported a packed schedule this year for members of the Irish Red Cross in Tipperary. Over 260 events were attended by Irish Red Cross volunteers who provided their services in First Aid. Demand for training in defibrillators from community groups is very strong with Cashel, Cahir, Faugheen and West Tipperary in particular receiving a number of defibrillator training courses. And people with special needs will be served better than ever by the new Irish Red Cross wheelchair-adapted minibus which has come into service in Clonmel. The Irish Red Cross has also provided together with local support a new ambulance for the Roscrea Unit. Local Area Director of Units, Bill Borland who is retiring this year was thanked by Tony Lawlor who stated that Mr Borland had given several years of service to the Irish Red Cross in Tipperary and thanked him for this hard work.

New Regulations to be brought forward he Central Unit Control considered draft new Unit Regulations, Ambulance Regulations and revised Casualty Service Operating Procedures which will be brought forward in the New Year.

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WEXFORD:

Red Cross under pressure as demand soars

Big growth in Red Cross members

Enormous pressure is being placed on members of the Irish Red Cross in Wicklow, owing to requests from event organisers for First Aid services at the last minute.. Local Area Director of Units, Hannah Cuddy said that she and her fellow volunteers in the Irish Red Cross in the county are willing to help but she said that it could be difficult to get volunteers at the last minute. She thanked Gerry O’Sullivan for his assistance in securing outside cover from within the region Meanwhile demand for First Aid courses has surged in Baltinglass,, keeping First Aid instructors busy. Fortunately the new ambulances have been available to serve the community. The Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue team is very active and is progressing its plans for a new mountain rescue post currently.

South-eastern Regional Director of Units, Gerry O’Sullivan reported that the Irish Red Cross Branches in Gorey and Enniscorthy had both experienced growth and had provided First Aid at 84 events this year under the leadership of Wexford’s Area Director of Units, John Kavanagh. Gorey now had two Irish Red Cross Units in the town – one Senior and one Cadet. The Senior Unit had seen its membership quadruple in the last year, while the Cadet unit had more than doubled to 11 young members. Enniscorthy, where local doctor, Dr Seán Nixon is the Irish Red Cross Area Medical Officer, has also seen membership increase.

Age changes in Units he age at which members are counted “seniors” in Red Cross Units will be 18 years as and from April 2008 the Central Unit Control have decided. Reasons underpinning this change arise from state-accredited PHECC (Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council) training courses setting a minimum age of 18 for access to their approved courses, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) use criteria, clarity concerning child protection application and to reflect the previous decision to only deploy members aged 18 or older in the event of a major emergency. Members aged 16 and 17 from mid 2008 will still be Unit members (i.e. not Cadets) and remain deployable on duties, training etc but with a different title of membership and a distinctive new epaulette. While in this age range members are expected to participate in duties with older

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personnel but especially to develop their prerequisite training courses preceding EMFR (Emergency Medical First Responder) training while gaining more duty experience in the interim. Currently the Irish Red Cross has two categories of membership for First Aid units, these are Senior (16 years+) and Cadet (less than 16 years). At the Central Unit Control meeting it was agreed to change this to have three categories with only those aged over 18 designated as Seniors, while those aged 15 years or less will be designated as Cadets. Area Directors of Units are consulting locally where possible with those aged 16 and 17 years as to the new term or designation for this age group. “Novice” and “Intern” have suggested but members with ideas on the best term should pass their suggestions on to their Area Director.

Congratulations to new Irish Red Cross Branches! Co. Clare The Newmarket-on-Fergus Branch was formed 25th October 2007 with 11 new members. They are an active Community Defibrillator group having trained in PAD. At local level Shirley Benson Area Director of Units, Michael Maher Area Treasurer, Yvonne Maher Vice Chairman of the North Clare Branch all contributed support. Co. Donegal Three new Branches of the Irish Red Cross have been set-up in Co. Donegal. Support was provided by Corrine Robinson Area Director of Units, Sally Mc Loughlin a member of the Fahan Branch and Chairperson of the Basic Life Support (BLS) sub group, Sheena Callaghan Coordinator for BLS in Co. Donegal, Martin McKinley Area PRO and Bernie Rutherford Area Secretary. Malin Head Branch This new branch was established on 15th May 2007 following training of 18 members, who are active in the Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) program. 24 people have completed a Basic First Aid (BFA) Course, Intermediate First

Aid training has commenced and future plans are to have their own instructor and perhaps form a First Aid Unit. Bocan Branch Established on 29th August 2007, 24 people were trained in PAD and 35 in BFA. They intend recruiting new members and organising fundraising. Glengad Branch The Community Defibrillator Group of 25 people set up this new branch on 4th September 2007. Most of the volunteers have previously completed BFA training and they intent to get involved in other Irish Red Cross activities. Co. Leitrim First Branch of Irish Red Cross created. Dromahair Branch The establishment of this new branch in July is a double success as it is the first Irish Red Cross Branch in Co. Leitrim for many years. Local people have contributed €14,000 towards the purchase of defibrillators and have been trained in using them.. The official launch took place on 16th October 2007 and

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presentations were given by Pat Merrick Regional Director of Units and Lydia O’Halloran Community Services & Development Officer. Also present were representatives from business in the area, a number of medical professionals and Councillor John Mc Tiernan. Co. Meath Two New Branches of the Irish Red Cross have been set-up in Co. Meath and over 60 new members have joined the Irish Red Cross. Assistance was given by Tommy O’Sullivan Deputy Area Director of Units, Stephen O’Donoghue Area Chairman, members of the Navan, Slane and Trim Branches and Lydia O’Halloran Community Services & Development Officer, who gave a presentation at both Inaugural Meetings. Drumbaragh Branch 40 people from the local community in Drumbaragh in Co. Meath completed the PAD training programme and formally established a new branch on 17th July 2007. Nobber Branch This second new branch in Co. Meath was formed on 29th August following successful training of 19 people in PAD.


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Top Red Cross lifesavers decided he best lifesavers in the country were decided at the national First Aid Competitions with Limerick getting a double win with both of their teams as well as teams and individuals from Cavan, Cork, Louth and Dublin City taking gold in a series of events. First prize in the prestigious President’s Perpetual Trophy was won by the Limerick, A team, with second prize taken by the Limerick C team. Dublin Borough came a close third.. The team from Limerick will now go on to represent Ireland at the European Championships in First Aid taking place next year in the UK. (See below for lists of team members). The best individual First Aider in the country is Louth-born Michael McCormack, who won the Dominic Nugent Cup representing the Area (County) for which he is responsible, Cavan. This is the second year running that this event - named in honour of the late Dominic Nugent of Dundalk has been won by a native of Louth. Silver in this event was taken by Hilary Parkinson of Limerick. The best young (cadet) individual First Aider in the country is Tracey Hanley, Cork, followed by Leanne Sullivan, Galway (2nd place) and Sorcha Parks, Louth, (3rd place). Cork also took first place in the best young (cadet) team event, followed by Limerick who took second place and Louth in third place. Louth, however, took gold for their newcomer, Marie Lawless who won first place in the individual Novice competition. Mayo’s Andrew Finn took silver, while Katie Donwoody of Dublin Borough (City) took bronze. First prize in the Novice team competition was taken by the team from Dublin Borough, followed by the team from Limerick in second place, with the team from Cork taking third place.

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Michael McCormack (Louth) who won 1st place in the Dominic Nugent trophy demonstrating his First Aid skills on patient Sinead O’Mara.

Hilary Parkinson (Limerick) who won 2nd place in the Dominic Nugent trophy administering First Aid on patient DJ O’Callaghan.

Irish Red Cross Vice-Chairman, Tony Lawlor congratulated all those who participated and particularly the organisers of the event and the winning teams and individuals. “This has been a year where all our Irish Red Cross volunteers have been called to show to the country and to the world that the backbone of our organisation is the passion and

commitment that our members bring to running these events which are vital to the maintenance of our very high standards in life-saving First Aid and supporting the emergency services in dealing with crises,” said Tony Lawlor. “I congratulate all those who participated - particularly those who have won and I commend them for their hard work and dedication,” he concluded.

Strategy to guide the international work at all levels he new Irish Red Cross International Strategy 2007 - 2012 has been presented to the Minister for State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Michael Kitt TD by the Chairman, Mr. David Andrews. The new strategy will guide our international work at all levels at home and abroad over the coming five years. It identifies core values and beliefs about our international work and provides coherent strategic direction for this work. The new strategy also prioritises specific sustainable competencies and sets down our corporate commitment to supporting and resourcing fulfilment of the strategy’s aims and objectives. The new strategy will also ensure that our work overseas is in line with other strategies developed by the Red Cross

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both in Ireland and nationally. Mr David Andrews, Chairman, said that the strategy would help consolidate our rapid progress and build on it in a way that is sustainable and accountable. “But this strategy is, first and foremost, a people document. It aims to help our staff, volunteers and our many partners to understood and believe in our journey and our destination. It links the Irish people’s trust and support with our need to demonstrate good stewardship of their resources. And above all, it is intended to ensure that we deliver appropriate, high quality services to the people that need it,” he said. An action plan sets out how the new strategy will be implemented and each year annual operational plans will see that this implementation progresses.

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Take part in First Aid Competitions – Appeal BIG turnout is what’s needed this year to give our First Aid competitions the real edge that creates a dynamic atmosphere and engenders a high standard of First Aid, said the Chairman of the Competitions Sub-Committee, John Costin. Appealing for more areas to get involved, John said that the Laois Area of the Irish Red Cross had worked extremely hard to provide an excellent venue for the competitions. This year’s venues will be agreed shortly, but the dates earmarked by John and his group of organisers are: z Senior Ambulance Competition for 2007, hosted by the Irish Red Cross in Louth will take place on 2 March next. z The Senior Individual/Dominic Nugent Cup Competition and the President’s Trophy will take place on 3 May next. z The Cadet & Novice competitions will take place on 11 October next. Anyone who wishes to find out more about the rules of the competitions and how to enter should contact s&tassistant@redcross.ie

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Irish Red Cross Brings Sudanese refugee donations to €425,000 he Chairman of the Irish Red Cross, Mr. David Andrews, who visited Chad in September has announced that the Irish Red Cross will donate €50,000 to a much needed water and sanitation project in the Bredgine and Treguine camps in Chad for Sudanese refugees. 45,000 Sudanese refugees presently reside in these two camps. This allocation brings the total Irish Red Cross donations to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by the war in Darfur to €425,000. Mr Andrews has also delivered a report of his findings on his visit to Chad to the Minister for Overseas Development, Michael Kitt TD. “Over 230,000 men, women and children have fled their homes in Sudan and are currently struggling to survive in Chad. The Red Cross movement is currently concentrating its humanitarian activities on the needs of 45,000 Sudanese refugees and 1,800,000 vulnerable Chadian residents in disaster-prone areas.” “Thanks to the generosity of the Irish people we have identified water and sanitation projects in Bredgine and Treguine that can be implemented immediately with Irish donations. We are making arrangements to have €50,000 allocated to the design and construction of quality water and sanitation systems in both refugee camps. This will improve the living conditions and the health and well being of thousands of refugees,” David Andrews explained. Mr. Andrews said that rivalry between nomadic groups and ethnic communities, the spill -over of the conflict in Darfur as well as endemic poverty all contributed to a harsh environment in Chad which continued to be compounded by increased pressure on scarce natural resources. “Humanitarian workers, including Red Cross delegates, often appear as the sole actors trying to cope with the situation. Despite the challenging environment and difficult working conditions the

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Red Cross continues to provide life saving humanitarian services on a daily basis.” he said. The Red Cross is currently providing health and water programmes in Treguine and Bredgine Sudanese refugee camps. They are also working in 13 villages of the local host community of Hadjer Hadid (around the refugee camps). As a result the risk of illness and death has been reduced. The goal of the Red Cross is to improve the health status of the most vulnerable in six strategic Chadian regions, including Eastern Chad, by end December 2007. It is also involved in helping 9,000 vulnerable local Chadian people who live around the refugee camps and in six strategic Chadian regions outside the

refugee operation areas. This is contributing to reducing the overall risk of death and disease in the country. David Andrews said that his team visited a number of refugee camps and met with Red Cross delegates working there to establish how best Irish Red Cross donations can be used in Chad. “I have been greatly impressed with the life saving work being carried out by the Red Cross on the ground here in Chad. The terrible suffering of Sudanese and Chadian people as a result of the Darfur crisis is almost impossible to describe. Continued commitment to life saving interventions and the provision of necessary funding to ensure this is of paramount importance” Mr. Andrews said. The Chairman of the Irish Red Cross Mr. David Andrews, with local children in Chad last September.

New uniforms changes underway

The Irish Red Cross International Youth Camp in 2008 Theme

“Youth” – Are we the New Frontier of the Federation? Dates Venue Invitees

Age Profile

9th – 17th August 2008 University of Limerick - 20 National Societies with two representatives each - 20 Irish Red Cross volunteers 18 to 25 yrs

Further information on this camp will be issued to Area/Branch Secretaries in February 2008, if you require any further information at this point, please contact Sandra at sstanley@redcross.ie or phone 01 6424600

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number of uniform changes have been recently agreed by Central Unit Control. A new dress button up white shirt in both male and female style is in stock and replaces the existing grey shirts since July 1st 2007. A navy clip-on tie with the Irish Red Cross name and emblem is in stock at Head Office for use with this dress shirt. A new uniform belt with the emblem and name of the Irish Red Cross on the buckle is now available from Head Office. The red uniform remains the primary uniform of the Irish Red Cross for duties, training etc. However a heavier gauge of material will feature in the next batch of red uniforms to be sourced following feedback from Areas on this aspect. The open neck white

shirt or polo shirt remains the accompaniment with red uniforms. For more formal events ñ parades, receptions, funerals etc - a new navy IRC blouson style jacket and a standardised navy dress trousers is now being sourced which will feature the new white dress shirt, navy clip on tie and peaked navy cap. The widespread development of new Irish Red Cross Branches throughout the country as a result of the Cross Out Day promotion of defibrillators has meant that non uniformed members of Red Cross affiliated groups may wear the Irish Red Cross standard high visibility long sleeved vest with the insert ‘Cardiac First Responder’.


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Malawi: Dubliner appointed to assist local Red Cross ubliner, Anne-Marie Cunningham is helping the Malawi Red Cross to identify needs and plan its work to ensure that people there get the help they need. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in southern Africa with HIV/AIDS posing a significant barrier to development. Hunger and malnutrition is a constant threat and the country is also struck regularly by cycles of droughts and floods. The Malawi Red Cross Society runs many programmes across the country which include HIV/AIDS, community based health care, support to orphans and vulnerable children, food security, water and sanitation and disaster reduction. The Society also has a refugee programme and facilitates family tracing services. Since her arrival, Anne Marie has been involved in planning and evaluating the impact of the work done by the Malawi Red Cross. She is based in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.

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Anne-Marie Cunningham working with locals in Malawi.

Bangladesh Cyclone victims and Darfur refugees get help from Irish Red Cross

Devastation in Bangladesh following Cyclone Sidr. he Chairman of the Irish Red Cross, David Andrews thanks all those who supported appeals run by the Irish Red Cross to provide essential services in Ireland and to alleviate suffering overseas. Victims of the Bangladesh Cyclone were assisted immediately as thousands of Euro were given to the Irish Red Cross in the first week of our appeal for aid. Our ERF appeal to help people in areas like Darfur (Sudan) remains open for donations and has had a generous response to

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date. The appeal, supported by our Chairman David Andrews who visited Darfur refugees recently, raised over â‚Ź400,000 Donations came from thousands of people and from companies based in Ireland who are keen to get aid to the people of Darfur. The humanitarian situation in the Darfur region of Sudan continues to be a source of immense suffering and tragedy for the people of region. More than two million people have fled their homes seeking refuge elsewhere in Sudan and also in Chad and other countries. A further 200,000 are estimated to have died as a result of strife. Irish Red Cross Delegate, John Rowland, an engineer from Crumlin, Co. Dublin, who is just back from a mission working on aid deliveries across the country as a flying logistician told the story of a young Sudanese boy with whom the Red Cross in Darfur had worked. The child, who had seen his father killed, was malnourished and dehydrated and had sustained a gunshot wound. Two other Irish Red Cross delegates working in the areas of water and sanitation and health have recently returned from their missions to Darfur and have highlighted the urgent need of finds, food and equipment. In response, the Chairman, David Andrews, traveled to Chad earlier this month to draw attention to the worsening situation in Darfur and the resulting refugee crisis in Chad The Emergency Appeal was met with an inspiring response, with 2,500 individual donations by post, phone and internet. As violence and tensions increase and the refugee crisis worsens, the need for aid in the region grows ever greater. Both appeals are still open and funds are urgently needed.

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German Refugee Returns to Kerry after 60 years 70-year-old German man paid an emotional return visit to the Co Kerry home that hosted him as an evacuated child in the aftermath of the second World War. Bernd Rosenberger was nine years old when, through the Irish Red Cross, his parents sent him to Ireland and the historic cathedral village of Ardfert. One of a family of three children in the bombed city of Dusseldorf, Mr Rosenberger was most eligible for evacuation because of his age, said his older sister, Hannelie, who accompanied him on his trip to Ardfert. The reunion took place at the O'Carroll family home in Main Street, where Mr Rosenberger arrived in May 1947. He spent three years in the home of Hannah and John O'Carroll. There to greet him was retired priest Fr Tom Houlihan, Mr Rosenberger's best friend at school in Ardfert, along with the two surviving members of the seven children of the O'Carroll family, Noreen and Florry, who became for a time Mr Rosenberger's older "siblings". Charlie Harnett, Area Director of Units of the Irish Red Cross in Kerry, who was present, said it was a wonderful tribute from Mr Rosenberger to have taken the time to return to the family after all these years. Most of the O'Carrolls were grown up at the time. Mr Rosenberger could not speak English but learned it "word by word in everyday life". Rural life was at a very different pace than it is now, Noreen O'Mahony, one of the youngest of the O'Carroll children, recalled at the family home, where she still lives. More than 1,000 children had been received in Ireland from the war-torn continent following an appeal by the Irish Red Cross under "Operation Shamrock".

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Some were sent to Glencree in Co Wicklow and others including Mr Rosenberger were met at Dún Laoghaire port by the host family and taken to their home. In Mr Rosenberger's case, Willie O'Carroll, a brigadier general in the Army, was sent to pick up the child. He was warned to "pick a strong young lad" who would be able for life in Ardfert and its tough sporting traditions, Mike O'Mahony, Noreen's son,recounted. Young Rosenberger quickly became part of the village community. He learned Irish and English, played hurling and handball and was confirmed in the local church. "As our family ran the post office and shop, which was on the premises, you could say he had a wide variety of language teachers," Florry

O'Carroll said. Despite all the development in Ardfert, an emotional Mr Rosenberger said it had not changed. He could "remember every stone, and every corner and every pathway" and no one had to show him around, even after a gap of 60 years. Back in Germany, he became involved in restoration of historic buildings and churches, but he never forgot his time in Kerry. The family and the school where his most precious memories. "They treated me like a son," he said of the O'Carroll family. He remained in contact with them until 1953 when Hannah died. In May of this year Mr O'Mahony managed to contact Mr Rosenberger, now a grandfather.

Irish Red Cross members assist youngsters at major bus accident

New Practical First Aid from January new Practical First Aid (PFA) will replace our Basic First Aid Course from 1st January 2008. It will assist students in the learning process through lots of practical work, scenario training, group work and continuous assessment. “The course has been 3 years in the making and has been trialled and modified based on student feedback” says Edward Williamson, PFA Programme Director. Instructors CD ROMs are currently available from HQ. Full details and guidelines will be issued to branches in the coming weeks.

From left to right Noreen O’Mahony (nee O’Carroll), Bernd Rosenberger, and Florry O’Carroll at the reunion in Ardfert.

he North West’s Regional Director of Units, Pat Merrick reports that it was lucky that he and several Red Cross members were on hand at a conference in the autumn when a bus accident in Co. Roscommon led to a call-out. The bus carrying scores of teenagers to the Ladies Football Final in Croke Park in September last, had veered off the road close to the new Charlestown by-pass on the N5 between Carracastle and Ballaghadereen. Luckily for those involved the workshop for the Western Statutory & Voluntary Pre-hospital Emergency Care Group - range of professional emergency experts including both volunteers and professionals – was taking place close by and was at the scene within minutes.

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The Irish Red Cross, working in its capacity as an auxiliary to the emergency services, supplied four fully equipped ambulances and trained Red Cross crews. Casualties had their injuries assessed onsite and at the Fire Station in Ballaghaderreen. “Patients were treated for suspected spinal injury, suspected ankle fracture, elevated B.P, shock etc. Walking wounded were also sent by ambulance with stretcher patients to utilise transport to the full and also to provide emotional support as the majority of the injured were young people between the ages of 8 and 14 years.”, noted Pat in his report of the incident. Two mini-buses also helped to transport those with less serious injuries to the general hospitals in Roscommon and Castlebar, Co. Mayo.


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Irish graduate wins selection for top International Humanitarian Law course n Irish student was again selected this year to participate with the best and the brightest of students from Europe and North America on the prestigious International Humanitarian Law course run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Polish Red Cross in Warsaw. Sarah Robinson (27), a United Nations Volunteer in Ethiopia, was selected by the legal experts at the ICRC to participate in the course. Sarah, who works as an Information Officer in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia, is originally from Wexford... She beat off stiff competition to represent the Irish Red Cross on the course which is open to just 35 students from Europe and North America each year. The Irish Red Cross administers applications for the course which takes place every year near Warsaw in English and also in Modane, south-eastern France in French. As in previous years, the Irish Red Cross again funded travel and course costs for the Irish student selected and is urgently seeking an external partner to sponsor this bursary. As an information officer, Sarah who works in analysis in the volatile Horn of Africa region says that knowledge and understanding of international humanitarian law is important for dealing with both national and international armed conflicts.

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An arts graduate with a Masters in comparative ethnic conflict, Sarah was particularly enthusiastic about taking part in this course. “It offered me a unique opportunity to discover and understand more profoundly the relevance and importance of international humanitarian law”. The course is hosted in Warsaw, a city that was destroyed by the Second World War and was occupied by Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR at different stages, and which offered an interesting backdrop to lectures on the Geneva Conventions and other Treaties. Participants included a Slovenian, a Bosnian and a Serbian that had lived through the war in the former Yugoslavia, an Israeli Jew whose family had fled post world war Europe and a Palestinian that had lived through two Intifadahs. Their lives and stories illustrated the importance of protection during conflict, a protection which is enshrined in international treaties and upheld by the Red Cross movement. Lectures included a thorough grounding in both Geneva and Hague Law and their relationship with international human rights law, international refugee law and the guiding principles of Internally Displaced Persons. More recent challenges for International Humanitarian Law were also discussed, including collective security operations, criminal repressions of violations

Sarah Robinson (27), working as a UN Volunteer in Ethiopia. and the ‘War on Terror’. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Hague regulations and the 30th anniversary of the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. In essence, laws are often drafted in the aftermath of events that expose caveats in international legislation. While the legislation is still applicable and important, it will only remain relevant if it can be applied to the conflicts of our time. As Sarah says, “one of the greatest challenges today is terrorism and the so called ‘War on Terror’, which is currently testing the boundaries of the law of armed conflict and illustrating that our laws have to evolve to meet new challenges”.

Irish Red Cross funds for flood victims in Asia and UK his year’s bad weather during the summer months severely hit many countries including the UK and many parts of Asia. Lives were lost and homes, farms and businesses were destroyed as torrential rain caused massive floods. The Irish Red Cross responded to the call for help from Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the UK and in Asia, with a donation of €25,000 to fund relief in the UK and €30,000 to fund relief in Asia, mainly in Pakistan.. Officials confirmed that the rains in Asia were the heaviest in recent memory with people in Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sudan affected. The Asia donation was used to assist more than 50,000 families, with Irish Red Cross delegate Charlie Rappaport among the many Red Cross workers in the region dealing with the crisis. Irish Red Cross Chairman David Andrews said that, thanks to the generosity of the Irish people, the Red Cross was able to send the funds needed to provide basic humanitarian aid and medical attention. “On behalf of the Irish Red Cross I thank the

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Irish Government who, through its agency Irish Aid, has donated €500,000 to the Red Cross teams working in Asia and these donations will make a difference in the critical areas,” he said. In South Asia, an estimated 35 million people have been affected, while a staggering 200 million people were affected by floods in China. In all of these countries, volunteers and staff from the Red Cross worked to assist vulnerable communities by distributing basic relief goods, helping people reach safer ground and providing first aid to those in need. Irish Red Cross delegate Charlie Rappaport, who is based in Pakistan said that relief and recovery efforts targetted south-west Pakistan, where torrential rains, suffocating temperatures and moving flood waters led to a miserable situation for around 2.5 million people in the provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh in June. The Irish Red Cross also provided €25,000 to the British Red Cross flood relief campaign to help those affected by the extensive damage and hardship caused by the unprecedented and persistent rain in many parts of the UK.

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THANK YOU A big thank you to O’Brien Printing of Kylemore Road, Dublin 10 for providing diaries for The Irish Red Cross staff and delegates, year after year. For information about O’Brien diaries, contact:

www.obrienprinting.com We wish them the best of success in business.


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Ireland praised by international managers raise was heaped upon the Irish Red Cross by the International Organising Committee of the First Aid Convention in Europe (FACE) for the hospitality and efficiency shown when the Irish Red Cross hosted the FACE in the University of Limerick last summer. In a wide-ranging review of the whole operation, the Committee led by Austrian Gerry Foitik warmly congratulated the Irish Red Cross for the whole operation. Unusually, as these reviews are often held to highlight areas that need attention, the Committee judged the Irish Red Cross operation, a resounding success. The FACE operation saw a Steering Committee of twelve experienced members of the Irish Red Cross, led by Fintan Breen and Tony Lawlor take charge of every aspect of the event with Project Manager, Deirdre Ryan delivering the plan. Over a thousand teams and their supporters from 26 countries attended the event which was run with the assistance of 300 Irish Red Cross volunteers, staff from Irish Red Cross head office, and the incredibly accommodating staff of the University of Limerick which was singled out for special mention by the International Organising Committee for the high standard of accommodation and food. Such was the success of the event that the entire Irish Red Cross Count Centre contingent (who totted-up the scores in Limerick) will be deployed at the next FACE event which is being hosted by the British Red Cross in Liverpool. Further details are available from www.face08.org.uk

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SPONSORS

Thanks to all our sponsors and best wishes for 2008 The Irish Red Cross would like to take this opportunity to thank all those all our terrific sponsors – listed here - especially those who helped fund this year’s massively-successful FACE (First Aid Convention in Europe) event.Widely covered by RTÉ,TV3 and other media throughout the country, the FACE event which took place in Ireland for the first time ever this summer, was also singled out for praise by the international organising committee.

Bank of Ireland Finance Gerry Rabbitte Galway Iris O'Brien Foundation Murphys Ratigans, Galway Shell Spa Transport Wilcar Autoconversion

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Obituaries

Listening in

Eileen Maloney

Sri Lanka s the third anniversary of the tsunami approaches, the Irish Red Cross is keen to take stock of its work to date and in particular learn how people in the affected countries feel about the completed and ongoing projects. Listening closely to the views of those receiving aid is an essential aspect of best practice in providing humanitarian assistance to people affected by disaster. Recently, seven members from the Irish Red Cross team in Sri Lanka participated in a major multi-agency research project that “listened” to the views of some 374 men, women and children relating their experiences of aid. The Irish Red Cross fully recognises the importance of listening to the opinions of communities whom we support across the world as an effective way of helping us to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the services that we provide. “The Listening Project”, is a unique global undertaking that has already been carried out in nine other countries. The project was organised by Collaborative for Development Action (CDA) Collaborative Learning Projects - an internationally renowned not-for-profit humanitarian focused research organisation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA) The Sri Lanka exercise was the first of its kind in that country to conduct in-depth conversations with people affected by the tsunami, conflict and poverty across six ethnically and geographically diverse districts. “We learned so much about what the people really want and how they really see us” said Taraka Fernando, a local Irish Red Cross project officer who participated in the study. Simon Harris, the Country Representative for the Irish Red Cross in Sri Lanka explained that “It’s only by listening closely to what people have to say about the way in which we provide assistance that we can build upon the things we do well and identify the areas in which we need to improve.” The findings from the Listening Project in Sri Lanka are due to be published on the CDA Collaborative Learning Projects website (www.cdainc.com).

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he Irish Red Cross lost one of its most longstanding members and a mainstay of humanitarian service in Cavan, this summer with the death of Mrs Eileen Maloney – who was just a fortnight short of her 103rd birthday. Mrs Maloney, who passed away in May witnessed a lifetime of change and served her community, selflessly, for over 60 years through her work with the Irish Red Cross in Cavan. Born on 22 May 1904, Eileen joined the Irish Red Cross shortly after it’s foundation in 1940 and was attached to the Red Cross Unit in Cavan town. In 1943 she and her fellow Red Cross volunteers attended one of the most horrific accidents in the state’s history, when the girl’s orphanage in Cavan town was burned down and 35 little girls died. She later helped to set up a refuge for the remaining orphan girls. Eileen became Deputy Area Director of Units for Cavan and was very involved in First Aid training locally. She raised awareness about the dangers of drowning, when the Irish Red Cross setup the Water Safety Campaign and also actively supported the aid programme for Internally Displaced People (refugees) from the north when the troubles broke out in the 60s. Paying tribute to her, Cavan Area Director of Community Services and Central Council member, Brendan Bird, said that Eileen’s character and tireless work in the Red Cross and the community will never be forgotten. “Eileen Maloney’s death is a personal loss for me as a friend and colleague. But I am glad that during her lifetime, I had the privilege of accompanying and assisting Eileen when she was presented with a medal, and other honours, for her particularly stalwart commitment to the Irish Red Cross and to the people of Cavan. “On my own behalf and on behalf of the Irish Red Cross, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Eileen’s family and friends,” concluded Brendan. Eileen, who has six children, was predeceased by her husband George several years ago.

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Catherine Lyons ed Cross member, Ms Catherine Lyons was only 42 years of age when she passed away earlier this year. Catherine was a member of the Irish Red Cross Branch in Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary, and although she battled with diabetes and had a pancreas transplant, her character and commitment to good causes enabled her to work hard for the Branch and also to raise funds for research into gastro paresis, a rare disease which she was diagnosed and treated for over many years. National Vice-Chairman and Tipperary-member, Tony Lawlor, extended his deepest condolences to Catherine’s many family and friends. “It is with particular sadness that we see such a young vibrant woman passing away. “On my own behalf and on behalf of all the members of the Irish Red Cross around the country, I would like to extend my fullest appreciation of Catherine Lyons’ work as a member of the Irish Red Cross and my sympathy to her family, friends and fellow Red Cross members, on their sad loss.” A professional hairdresser, who loved to socialise and help others, Catherine who passed away in February will be remembered with great affection by her family, friends and Red Cross colleagues this Christmas as they approach her first anniversary.

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Simon Harris (left), and Noel Wardick (Red Cross cap) in Batticola, Sri Lanka.

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Irish Red Cross Youth member takes-up key international post in Geneva ork member Stephen Ryan reports that his work at the Geneva head office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies is proving very rewarding. Stephen, who is originally from Roche’s Cross, Cork and is a member of the Mallow Branch, took up the position of Communications Officer at the Organisational Development Department in June and since then has worked on youth involvement in the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement worldwide. The position is funded by the Irish Red Cross. He facilitates knowledge sharing by maintaining the youth section of the International Federations public website (www.ifrc.org/youth), our extranet – FedNet, writing and editing articles for publication the International Federation’s website, the monthly youth e-newsletter, and quarterly printed newsletter, Youth in Action. Stephen also facilitates communication in the areas of volunteering and capacity building through the use of information communications technology. “One of the things I enjoy the most is to be in contact with Red Cross members

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all over the world – it’s amazing to see that no matter how different our lives are, we are all working together to a common goal!” This is not Stephen’s first exposure to the Movement at an international level, as he represented the Irish Red Cross at the “Across” youth camp, as a participant in 2003, and was asked by the Swiss Red Cross Youth to return as a leader in 2004. “I was very glad to be given the opportunity to attend those youth camps, and I feel that it is because of those chances that I better understood the importance of this Movement to which we all belong.” Earlier this year, Stephen attended the “Fiaccolata”, an event organized by the Italian Red Cross to commemorate the birth of the idea of the Red Cross Movement at the battle of Solferino, almost 150 years ago. A torch light procession takes place between the neighbouring towns of Solferino and Castiglione in northern Italy. The procession is based on the very first evacuation in history of wounded soldiers agreed by warring countries. “It was one of the most inspiring experiences of my life – to be together with thousands of other people from around the

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Stephen Ryan with Roberta Zuchegna, Youth Officer, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. world, all with a shared ideal is something that I’ll never forget.” Stephen hopes to continue working with the Red Cross Red Crescent movement in the future, and is sure that the skills and knowledge that he is gaining through his current role will be beneficial to him in the future. “Of course I want to continue working within the Movement; I can’t imagine a more rewarding job”


Irish Red Cross Review