Dear Fellow Member,
You have probably seen the harrowing images of migrants struggling to cross the Mediterranean in flimsy crafts only to be rescued by, amongst others, the Irish Naval Service.
During a recent presentation in the Club, Lt Shane Mulcahy, the Operations Officer on the first Irish Naval mission to the Mediterranean last year, outlined the very difficult conditions experienced by the migrants in the rubber dinghies and adapted fishing boats. He also gave details of how the Naval Service cope with the up to 600 migrants they might rescue at a time and how they accommodate and look after them on deck during what might be a 2-3 day trip back to a safe haven in Italy.
Lt Mulcahy identified, in particular, the plight of the many young children they rescue and how it can be particularly distressing for them. To help with the care of the children, the Naval Service distributes soft toys, colouring books, and crayons to the children as appropriate.
Following the presentation by Lt Mulcahy, one Member of the House and Social Committee proposed that the Club should endeavour to help out in whatever way we could, especially perhaps, with reference to the needs of the children. This was fully supported by the House and Social Committee and endorsed by all the Flag Officers.
The next mission to the Mediterranean departs imminently with the ship deploying possibly as soon as this Friday (although this may be delayed) and the Club is trying to provide some assistance to same.
Accordingly, we would now URGENTLY ask for your help and support to provide the Naval Service and the children with as many colouring books, crayons, pencils, small soft toys, and nappies as we can collect in the next 1-2 days so that we can support the next mission.
Note: electronic toys, toys with batteries or small parts (such as lego kits) or board games are not required.
Also, clothes, blankets, and shoes are not required.
Any donations of the required items will be very gratefully received and may be dropped into the reception office in the Club where Eleanor, House Manager, or any of the staff will take them in.
This initiative is about giving practical support to the Irish Navy in its humanitarian work rescuing and caring for children.
It also builds on the unique and tremendous relationship the Club has enjoyed for many years with the Irish Naval Service.
We are sure that this is an initiative that Members will get behind and support in their usual very generous way.
Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.