Ru­ral bus users cel­e­brate the vi­tal Lo­call­ink ser­vice

Mid Louth Independent - - NEWS -

OVER 450 ru­ral trans­port net­work users from Louth, Meath and Fin­gal came to­gether this week in a cel­e­bra­tion of the Lo­call­ink ser­vice that de­liv­ers so much in the com­mu­nity.

Groups from Tal­lanstown, Monaster­boice, Ardee and Togher joined other ser­vice users from Louth at Si­mon­stown GAA club near Na­van for a day of mu­sic, cel­e­bra­tion and in­for­ma­tion based around the pop­u­lar ser­vice.

Lo­call­ink is part of the Ru­ral Trans­port Pro­gramme and pro­vides qual­ity na­tion­wide com­mu­nity-based public trans­port sys­tem in ru­ral Ire­land, re­spond­ing to lo­cal needs.

The ser­vice is pro­vided for peo­ple who have dif­fi­cul­ties ac­cess­ing public or other forms of trans­port us­ing a mix­ture of Lo­call­ink’s ex­ist­ing pri­vate op­er­a­tors and their new com­mu­nity car vol­un­teers.

Ser­vices in­clude hospi­tal vis­its in Louth, Meath, Ca­van and Dublin, ac­cess to trans­port for health ser­vices that may not be oth­er­wise ac­ces­si­ble and pro­vid­ing a life­line for tasks such as shop­ping and bank­ing.

Vol­un­teers pro­vide their own trans­port, state the times that they are avail­able to drive peo­ple to ap­point­ments and are then placed on a panel and given sev­eral days’ no­tice of jour­neys that suit them.

‘The key to Lo­call­ink is ac­cess, as users are peo­ple who feel that they could ben­e­fit from a door-to-door trans­port ser­vice, and we are ask­ing peo­ple to ring us so we can sup­port them in in­de­pen­dent liv­ing,’ said Lo­call­ink Co-Or­di­na­tor Miriam McKenna.

‘We are look­ing to hear from any­one who knows some­one they feel could ben­e­fit from trans­port to hospi­tal or health ap­point­ments, nurs­ing home vis­its or so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties such as Men’s Sheds, Ac­tive Re­tire­ment groups or just go­ing to a mati­nee in the cin­ema.’

‘We are al­ways look­ing for vol­un­teer driv­ers and if any­one would like to con­trib­ute then we would be de­lighted to hear from them on 1800 303 707,’ added Miriam.

‘We also have to stress that we are not just a ru­ral or­gan­i­sa­tion and are as happy pick­ing some­one up in town to take them wher­ever they need to go as we are do­ing a 15-mile run in the coun­try­side. When it comes to trans­port, if the need is there, then so are we,’ said Miriam.

Peo­ple in need of trans­port are asked to con­tact Lo­call­ink Louth Meath and Fin­gal on 046 9074830 or 1800 303 707.

The day of cel­e­bra­tion fea­tured bingo with Paul Matthews, mu­sic from the amaz­ing 11-year-old David Val­liov from Sum­merhill, and old favourites Ray Murtagh and Pat Dee­gan.

Crime Preven­tion of­fi­cer Sgt Dean Kerins gave an en­light­en­ing talk on safety and se­cu­rity com­ing into the win­ter months.

A group from Sta­mullen, Lay­town, Bet­tys­town and Ju­lianstown pic­tured on their ar­rival at the Ru­ral Trans­porta­tion Day cel­e­bra­tions in Na­van. On­right is Miriam McKenna of Flex­ibus – Lo­cal Link, Louth Meath, Fin­gal.

Mary Roe (front) from Tal­lanstown, leads the way as Su­san Reynolds from Aclint, Noel French and Miriam McKenna of Flex­ibus – Lo­cal Link, Louth Meath, Fin­gal, Nancy Fin­negan and Kath­leen Mongey from Beau­parc and driver Terry Ginty

Sergeant Dean Kerins was on hand to wel­come Helen McMa­hon, Theresa Mur­ray, Aileen Bell, Mary Sharkey and Eileen Hand as they stepped off the bus from Togher

The del­e­ga­tion from Monaster­boice ar­rive on the bus for the Ru­ral Trans­porta­tion Day cel­e­bra­tions at Si­mon­stown Gaels GAA Club in Na­van.

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