One of the ‘largest aid convoys ever to leave Ireland’ will today set off for Ukraine’s border with Poland.
More than 25 trucks carrying 500 tonnes of aid will begin the two-week return trip from Dublin Port this afternoon.
Some 16 Irish transport companies have come together to set up ‘Aid from Ireland’ – and deliver goods donated by people all over the island directly to the people who need them.
OOHpod delivery service CEO John Tuohy told Newstalk that many of the drivers and companies are giving their time free of charge.
“This is the largest aid convoy ever to leave the island of Ireland,” he said.
“It is an all-island effort. We had many transport companies and donor companies and individuals in Northern Ireland included in this convoy, so it really is a huge effort.
“I can’t think of anything myself that was a bigger collaborative effort between the services and logistics companies and donors ever really, in my own experience, in Ireland.”
Like everyone, we’re shocked and heartbroken to see what’s happening in Ukraine at the moment. As well as sending our thoughts and prayers to the people of Ukraine, we’re also sending 5 x pallets of Progress Oatlets from our Mill today to help with the humanitarian effort. pic.twitter.com/p9Fdx8Va3Q
— Flahavan's Porridge (@FlahavansIRL) March 4, 2022
He said the trucks will be carrying around 500 tonnes of much-needed aid.
“That is at least 25 trucks with 20,000kg in each one,” he said.
“In each one is a mixture of products that have been donated by manufacturers and distributors in Ireland right down to toys and other goods and food and clothing that have been donated by schoolchildren and GAA club members and everybody – all the collective community effort that has gone on in Ireland over the last week or so.”
He said the convoy will not return to Ireland for the best part of two weeks.
“This initiative is amongst the transport companies themselves,” he said.
“Many of whom are providing their services completely free of charge. That is a truck gone for the best part of two weeks because it will take them a week to get to Poland and week to get back again.
“So that is fuel, ferries, tolls and everything else included and these transport companies are providing these services free of charge.”
Some of the companies who have donated to the cause include Boojum, which is sending 600 survival kits with flash lamps and clothing, Flahavans, which is sending 10,000kg of porridge and Hibernian Healthcare which is sending six pallets of first aid and medical supplies.
The convoy is due to leave Dublin Port at 12:30pm this afternoon.
Reporting from Caoimhseach Connolly
Additional reporting Michael Staines