Maynooth University (MU) is opening its student apartments to allow returning frontline health care workers to self-isolate for 14 days when they come back from abroad to help tackle the Covid-19 crisis.
U is partnering with the Answer Ireland’s Call initiative to provide 20 rooms free of charge, with security, cleaning and other costs funded by private donations and Maynooth alumni.
Ireland’s Call was started by businessman Neil Sands, a former MU student, who graduated with a BA in Maths and Statistics, History in 2003, and the university is the first .
MU President Professor Philip Nolan is also playing a leading roll in the national effort against the coronavirus, as chair of the National Public Health Emergency (Team (Nphet) mathematical modelling group.
The Ireland’s Call initiative has attracted interest from Irish medical professionals in 26 countries, and, to date, 30 medics have returned, and are now waiting to be assigned.
MU’s Director of External Relations Rebecca Doolin said while some of the university’s students remained living in campus accommodation, the vast majority had moved home “so we have the capacity and wanted to help in whatever way we could.”
She said the university, the first to enter a partnership with Ireland’s Call, was delighted to support frontline health care workers and were grateful to donors who helped make this possible, “as there will undoubtedly be difficult financial constraints facing the university sector in the months ahead.”
The Ireland’s Call Initiative, which was launched last month, began by sourcing and funding flights .
Neil Sands said he was incredibly proud of his alma mater which had “listened to the calls for colleges and universities to put their empty rooms to good use and have really stepped up.”
He said the health care workers were “making enormous sacrifices for Ireland in its hour of need and we should do everything we can to support them. It’s our chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with our front line.”