Local Heroes...Dunshaughlin and Royal Gaels GAA club's Jim Smith after the club was named Joint Community Award & Overall Lockdown Award Winners. The club was nominated by Dunshaughlin SuperValu owner Paul Healy.

Joint Community Award & Overall Lockdown Award Winner (Part 1) - Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA club

Joint Community Award & Overall Lockdown Award Winners - Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels

There is a long and rich tradition of Gaelic games in Dunshaughlin and during lockdown members of the GAA community stepped into the limelight and proved they are champions.

As lockdown began in earnest some people started to panic buy, unsure of what the future held; fearful that they would be left without the essentials.

The SuperValu store in Dunshaughlin was one of those retail outlets beseiged by shoppers, many of whom were intent on stocking up. As a consequence, and understandably, the store struggled to cope.

Store owner Paul Healy contacted Jim Smith, a well-known GAA figure in the community. The response was immediate and powerful. "I asked Jim could the club help out for a few days and do the deliveries that were piling up. The answer was swift. How many drivers were needed and at what time? Simple as that."

Another local GAA stalwart, Hugh McCarthy, started co-ordinating a team of volunteers from the local Dunshaughlin and Royal Gaels Gaelic football teams. A What'sApp group was set up. Over 40 people helped out. Volunteers eager to play their part, to help out in a time of emergency.

Paul Healy watched with awe and wonder at the level of response. At one stage the operation included over 40 volunteers delivering essentials to people who needed to isolate. Countless deliveries were made ensuring vulnerable people had what they needed. The goods dropped to their doorsteps within hours of placing their orders.

"All delivered by our wonderful volunteers, on their own time and at their own expense," added Paul with a sense of wonder.

Photo by Gavan Becton

Thanks to everyone who nominated friends, family, groups and communities for the first and (hopefully last) Meath Chronicle Lockdown Awards.

Thanks also to our wonderful sponsors who got behind the initiative: Meath Co Council, Utmost, Ecomm, Alltech and SuperValu.

Thanks also to our sponsors who got behind the initiative: Meath Co Council, Utmost, Ecomm, Alltech and SuperValu