Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.18 24 Nov 2020


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A former Senator has spent the last several months ringing 100 people a day, to check on them during lockdown.

Former Fine Gael Senator Jarlath McDonagh said the idea came to him when he came across his address book.

He told Lunchtime Live: "When I went through the blue book, I discovered I had 1,000 names, addresses and telephone numbers.

"So I got the idea: why not ring those 1,000 people? Many I had not met for 10 years, 20 years, 30, 40 - and a few for nearly 50".

He decided he would call 10 people every day on a schedule of three hours each day.

"I can tell you, it turned out to be some task indeed - but a great journey".

He said people were "surprised and delighted" to get a call.

But he said "the most gratifying thing of all: they were all alive, and they received my call with sheer delight and in all cases a supposed three minute call turned out to be much longer."

'A big welcome for me'

And he said people are even starting to call him back to talk some more.

"We talked about family and how our lives turned out, the days we spent together on the hurling fields, in the classroom, in the council chamber.

"But everybody had a big welcome for me, and it was wonderful to talk to these people again.

"And now they're beginning to ring me back and say 'We didn't talk about such a thing'".

He has described it as "the most satisfying project I ever undertook".

Although he is not sure he will get to the end of his blue book.

"I started it about five months ago now when the first lockdown came into being".

"At this stage I'm gone up to 700, and I'm wondering will I make the 1,000?

"I doubt it, because it's a long way".

He said there is one common theme in all his calls - to meet up after the pandemic.

"Everyone I talked to we said we'll meet and we'll do this and do that, but to meet 700 people I don't think that is possible."

He said one phone call that stood out above the rest was talking to his "first real girlfriend".

"She's now living in Dublin, and I was delighted that she and her husband are in great form.

"And if they're listening today, I'd like to send them every good wish for Christmas".

Main image by FlitsArt from Pixabay 

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Address Book Calls Former Fine Gael Senator Jarlath McDonagh Lunchtime Live

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