Teachers from St Ailbe’s Secondary School in Tipperary who provided visors at O'Dwyers Pharmacy during the first lockdown
The following is a selection of the stories that were making the news in April 2020 in The Nationalist.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Tipperary more than tripled in the space of a week and a Tipperary family was plunged into mourning as their loved one died from the virus in the last days of March, wrote Aileen Hahesy in our front page story in the first week of April.
As Tipperary people knuckled down to the new lockdown movement restrictions announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Department of Health statistics showed the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Tipperary rose from 20 on Monday, March 23 to 62 on Monday, March 30.
County Tipperary had 2% of the country’s Covid-19 cases at that time.
Sadly, Covid-19 claimed a county Tipperary victim, who passed away at South Tipperary General Hospital on Saturday, March 28.
There was a bit of a business coup for a Clonmel company, Camida, in securing a much sought after raw material in Europe in early April and set about making the logistical arrangements to bring the product to Ireland.
This key ingredient would enable the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland to produce enough reagent to make 500,000 test kits for Covid-19.
“We are delighted to do our bit for the country during this national emergency. We had the links and the network to go about this when we were called to assist. Countries from all over the world were looking for this material and we were very pleased to have secured it for Ireland,” said David Anchell, Managing Director of Camida.
The late Tom Larkin will always hold a special place in the hearts and minds of all Kilsheelan Kilcash GAA Club supporters, wrote Sean Nugent, a former county chairman, in a tribute piece to his fellow clubman in our edition of April 23.
As the holder of the first All-Ireland senior hurling medal to come to the parish, and his contribution to the club as a player and team trainer, Tom Larkin well deserved that special place. He had an outstanding career as a dual player at club and county level for over a 20-year period.
Teachers at Tipperary Town’s St Ailbe’s School and Clonmel’s Central Technical Institute produced more than 3,000 face visors over a few weeks in April that helped to protect healthcare workers and other workers on the frontline of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Teachers specialising in woodwork and metal work at the two South Tipperary based Education & Training Board schools gave up much of their Easter school holidays to manufacture the visors and organise their distribution to nursing homes, residential care centres, pharmacies, hospitals, dental and GP surgeries.
The ETB schools campaign was kick started by teachers at St Ailbe’s School in Tipperary.
St Ailbe’s woodwork teacher Eoin Kennedy got the ball rolling when he downloaded a visor design from an American university, made a few adaptations and started making the visors using the school’s laser machine.
His colleagues, metal work teacher Ray Roche and business teacher Denis Keating have been helping him.
The work by St Ailbe’s teachers inspired a group of teachers at Clonmel’s Central Technical Institute to also start producing visors for the Covid-19 effort.
CTI woodwork teacher Stephen Buckley said he and colleagues Liam Lonergan (metalwork), Susan McCarthy (art and metalwork), Jonathan Nolan and Colm O’Conghaola (woodwork) operated a rota over the Easter holidays where one of them a day went into the school and made visors with the school’s laser cutting machine,
Stephen said they have made more than 1,000 visors so far and supplied them to the staff at nursing homes in Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir and Cashel as well as gardai in Clonmel and Cashel, who are using them while operating checkpoints.
The CTI teachers in Clonmel also gave visors to a local family who have a daughter awaiting a heart transplant.
See this week’s issue of The Nationalist for comprehensive review of the year