No housing for Fleadh–Clarke volunteers

Sorca Clarke, TD, speaking in the Dáil yesterday.

Cllr Sorca Clarke spoke to the Dáil this week on behalf of the Order of Malta, who are volunteering for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Mullingar this year.

The charity will have 80 volunteers providing round-the-clock coverage at four medical posts in Mullingar during the event and from now on volunteers will sleep on the floor of a hall with no access to bathrooms or showers.

Sinn Féin and Longford Westmeath TD defense spokeswoman Ms Clarke asked An Taoiseach Micheál Martin for a personal intervention on the matter and said no effort had been made to resolve the matter.

“Applications have been sent out, calls have been made, emails have been sent and none of them have received a response.”

Ms Clarke expressed her frustration by stressing the importance of having volunteers at the Fleadh, but they do not have suitable accommodation.

She asked the Taoiseach to ensure these people have a proper work base while in Mullingar.

“It’s not too late for something to be put in place to make them feel safe and for the city to benefit from their expertise.

Mr Martin replied: “I wasn’t aware of that. Normally these kinds of operational issues are sorted out and organized before such a big event. It’s going to be a very big event.

“We are always very grateful to the Order of Malta and other similar organizations for the work they do on a voluntary basis to allow these festivals to take place, so they must be supported.

“I will follow him.”

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