‘Holy’ din­ners raise €1,750 for In­dia vic­tims RON HOPES HIS CHIL­DREN’S BOOK WILL TAKE FLIGHT!


THE own­ers of an In­dian restau­rant in New Ross whose fam­ily was caught up in the floods in Ker­ala, In­dia, raised €1,700 (20,000 ru­pees) for an emer­gency re­lief fund by cook­ing hun­dreds of din­ners at their Ir­ish­town restau­rant.

Ammu and Shijo were so moved by the plight of mil­lions of their fel­low Ker­alans that they or­gan­ised the In­dian com­mu­nity in the re­gion to help in any way they could to raise money.

This in­volved ev­ery­thing from help­ing by chop­ping veg­eta­bles and cook­ing, to dis­tribut­ing the chicken biryani cur­ries to homes, at €5 a dish. It is es­ti­mated that al­most seven mil­lion peo­ple have been ac­com­mo­dated in var­i­ous shel­ter camps. Ammu said her mother’s house was flooded. ‘ There was water up to her chest. I know an In­dian man in New Ross who lost con­tact with his par­ents for days which was very fright­en­ing. We spent €250 pro­vid­ing es­sen­tials to 46 fam­i­lies and will be help­ing a lot more fam­i­lies with bed­ding, medicines etc. €1,700 is a huge amount of money in Inidan ru­pees so we want to thank every­one who do­nated and who sup­ported us.’

35 out of 54 dams within the state of Ker­ala had to be opened for the first time in his­tory due to ris­ing flood wa­ters, caus­ing dam­age to hun­dreds of thou­sands of homes. Ammu, from Kot­tayam, who works at Goats­bridge Trout Farm in County Kilkenny, thanked her em­ployer for do­nat­ing the pro­ceeds from her book, Fish­wives, to the cause, adding that the book is for sale at the Holy Grail. A lo­cal au­thor is hop­ing to cor­ner the chil­dren’s book mar­ket with a new con­cept that he says has gen­er­ated won­der­ful in­ter­est with pub­lish­ers in the UK. Hav­ing self-pub­lished a num­ber of books pre­vi­ously, Ron Smith from Ou­lart was in­spired by a flir­ta­tion with the lat­est gad­gets.

‘About two and a half years ago I got a drone,’ he said. ‘Af­ter about two weeks I got bored of it and I was in with Danny Mur­phy in En­nis­cor­thy and I said to him “what am I go­ing to do with this?” He said “why don’t you write a book about it?” That’s how Buddy the Drone was born.’

From there, Ron en­listed the help of tal­ented lo­cal artist Ed Doyle who man­aged to sketch out what Buddy would look like and the pair cre­ated a pro­to­type book. From there, Ron be­gan deal­ing with Michael Ter­ence Pub­lish­ing in the UK and signed a deal which he hopes will see the book dis­trib­uted world­wide.

‘Ba­si­cally the pub­lisher is go­ing to re­vamp the whole thing,’ Ron ex­plained. ‘I’m told that it will be avail­able to buy by the end of Septem­ber through Ama­zon and places like that.’

Ron be­lieves that the idea could also prove a lu­cra­tive one and is con­fi­dent that ‘Buddy the Drone’ could go on to be­come an in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful se­ries.

Hun­dreds of dishes were made up to be sold to the In­dian com­mu­nity in New Ross, En­nis­cor­thy, Wex­ford and Car­low.

Buddy The Drone.

The pro­ceeds of the ‘Fish­wives’ book were do­nated to the cause.

Au­thor Ron Smith.

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