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Rathkeale Ukraine donation helps refugees entering Poland



Rathkeale Ukraine – The Rathkeale settled and Traveller community donated 441 care packages for delivery to Ukrainian refugees.

Rathkeale Ukraine donation helps refugees entering Poland

Rathkeale Ukraine

The town’s Traveller community alongside Fr. William Russell raised thousands of euros which was spent locally on items usually unavailable in warzone households.

The settled and Traveller community of the small County Limerick town, Rathkeale, have donated 441 care packages to aid Ukrainian refugees entering the European Union through Poland.




Rathkeale donated 441 care packages (341 boxes and 100 bags) for delivery to Ukrainian refugees being helped by the Polish people at their mutual border. Within five days of Limerick man David Lamont’s appeal, ‘Rathkealers’ responded by donating supplies to the Rathkeale Welcome Centre, Coláiste na Trócaire, St. Anne’s School, St. Joseph’s School, Beehive Creche, Eurospar, Beauty Bliss Salon and other businesses in the town.

“Rathkealers are awesome,” said David Lamont, leader of the Rathkeale Ukraine donation appeal. “I expected a few boxes, but we had 80 by mid-week, and hundreds by Friday.”

The town’s Traveller community alongside Fr. William Russell raised thousands of euros which was promptly spent locally on items usually unavailable in warzone households. Financial donations from the local Credit Union and individuals were also converted into Ukraine-bound supplies.

Mike Hunt of the Community Employment Programme and many other unseen volunteers quickly became the logistical backbone of the Rathkeale Ukraine donation process. They sorted, packaged, and labelled the supplies into uniform boxes donated by ABP Food Group. James O’Connor Kitchens provided a large van and, despite a tyre blowout on the second trip, everything was safely delivered to the Paul Fitzgerald & Son Building Supplies waystation in Killarney – bound for Ukraine.

“The crew in Killarney were delighted to receive such a large Rathkeale Ukraine donation that was boxed, labelled and ready to go on pallets,” said Konrad Paprocki, Donation Coordinator for the Polish community in Killarney.

The people of Rathkeale responded to an appeal by the Polish community in Killarney for blankets, sleeping bags, camping mats, towels, shampoos, soap, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary towels, wet wipes, nappies, toilet paper, dry food rice, pasta, tinned food, baby food, chocolate, tea, coffee, and sugar. Everything had to be delivered by March 5 for consolidation and shipment to Poland.

Rathkeale, home to 1,700 people, is a friendly, active town on the N21 near Newcastle West. It may soon be at the elbow of the new Foynes to Limerick motorway, about 20 minutes from Limerick City. Rathkeale’s workforce is highly skilled, with 34% engaged in professional, managerial, technical or non-manual work. 43% work in Commerce, Trade and Professional Services, and 7% in Agriculture.


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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.