Rural bus users celebrate the vital Locallink service
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.