Thousands calling rural helpline
A call a minute is being received by a national helpline from rural dwellers who can't get out of their homes to get groceries and medicines or have difficulties with heating systems and frozen water pipes.
The helpline was set up by Muintir na Tíre to provide practical assistance to people affected by the current cold snap and has received well over a thousand calls since it became operational last week.
"Many callers to the helpline are trapped in their homes and require supplies," said Martin Quinn, president of Muintir na Tire. "Others are experiencing difficulties with frozen pipes and heating problems while many others are lonely or isolated and need to have someone to talk to."
There were also calls from people concerned about elderly relatives and friends, and many people offering to help in any way possible.
"Many volunteers are working through dreadful conditions to reach older and isolated people and to ensure that they have adequate food and emergency supplies," added Mr Quinn, who thanked the Garda Siochána and the many other agencies for their support and co-operation.
The helpline will continue to operate daily from 8am to 8pm. The number is: (086) 600 0751.