25 May 2022

VIDEO: Watch as four aid trucks leave Carrick for Ukraine

Hauliers from Leitrim, Cavan and Sligo travel in convoy to Rosslare and on to Ukraine

A crowd of well wishers including Ukrainian nationals waving flags and balloons gathered along the N4 in Carrick-on-Shannon this morning to wave off four articulated trucks full to the brim with essential items for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war in their homeland.

While hard to quantify, it is estimated that each of the four trucks is carrying at least €200,000 worth of goods to the Ukraine-Poland border.

McMorrow Haulage, Dowra; Campbell Carriers, Aughawillan; Michael Howden Haulage, Bawnboy; and Stephen Mullen & Sons, Sligo, headed off on their journey to Rosslare where they will board a ferry to Dunkirk and travel across the continent to get their aid into Ukraine.

Gerry McMorrow, who has coordinated the effort on behalf of the Irish Road Haulage Association, said the four trucks, under banner of IRHA, are going to meet up two more trucks at 5pm in Rosslare. They will meet there with representatives from the Ukrainian embassy who have been working closely with the IRHA to coordinate the effort to get the aid to where it is most needed.

The six IRHA trucks will travel in convoy, led by Bosco Campbell, who is an experienced driver on the European continent. They will land in Dunkirk in France and travel on through Belgium and the Netherlands and into Germany where they will be directed to follow a route into Poland and on to the Ukraine border.

The drivers expect to be back in 12 days from today.

Goods have been collected in recent weeks throughout Co Leitrim, West Cavan, Sligo, etc and it has been all sorted and placed on pallets ready for transport.

The pallets in Carrick-on-Shannon were collected by Sean Guckian Transport and brought out to Joe McLoughlin's in Drumshanbo. At Gerry McMorrow's depot in Dowra and at Joe McLoughlin's every pallet was split and broken down into what was relevant and what was needed.

The Carrick-on-Shannon pallets are aboard Bosco Campbell's truck and local coordinator Mary Glancy and others were there to thank the drivers and wave them off on their journey.

Gerry McMorrow said Ukraine will actually be deciding where the aid is needed.

"The biggest problem for the stuff going out is everyone's heart is in the right place but there's no structure or coordination. That's not a criticism, we're trying to get a structure, the last thing we want is to be sending aid that is not needed.

"For example clothes are needed here in Ireland for the refugees coming in. There's that much clothes going into the refugee camps on the other side that they actually can't process them and have to dump them and that's unfortunate," he said.

Gerry said the four trucks actually have no clothes on board. What they do have is a very detailed inventory, like a shopping list, which is being coordinated through Ukrainian officials here and they in turn are in contact with their people at home, and the Red Cross.

"The magnitude of this is so great and everyone is trying to do the best they can," said Gerry.

"The Ukrainian officials here have coordinated it and linked up with their own people. Most of our aid is probably going to go into Ukraine, we will go into distribution hubs, we have a shopping list of what's on the trailers, a detailed inventory of what is on each truck and they will know where it's wanted," he said.

Gerry thanked everyone for their work and paid particular praise to the people of the small community of Dowra, describing the magnitude of their effort as "amazing."

Safe travels to all!

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