23rd April 2020: Maynooth University today announced that it will partner with the Ireland’s Call Initiative to provide up to 20 frontline health care workers returning from abroad with apartments on campus while they self-isolate for 14 days.
From today, 20 rooms at Maynooth’s campus will become available free of charge to returning health workers, with private donations from companies and Maynooth alumni funding the cleaning, security and other costs associated. MU is the first Irish third-level institution to partner with Ireland’s Call, which was started by Irish businessman and MU alumnus Neil Sands (BA, Maths and Statistics, History, 2003).
The initiative means that frontline health care workers have somewhere to go should they need isolation away from their own homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Announcing the move, Director of External Relations Rebecca Doolin, said: “All over the country, people are doing whatever they can to support the national effort to combat Covid-19. While some students remain living in campus accommodation, the vast majority of them have moved home, so we have capacity and wanted to help in whatever way we could. MU is delighted to partner with Answer Ireland’s Call to support health care workers who are on the frontline of this crisis and we are grateful to our donors who helped make this possible, as there will undoubtedly be difficult financial constraints facing the university sector in the months ahead.”
The Ireland’s Call Initiative was launched last month and works to bolster the country’s medical front line in the fight against Covid-19. This began by sourcing and funding flights, which has seen the return of over 30 medics to Ireland since the start of the month. Upon their return home, Ireland’s Call is also supporting the medics with accommodation to self-isolate effectively for 14 days. The medics who have returned home are now waiting to be assigned as the HSE deals with the incredibly positive response to its recruitment drive.
The campaign is being run on Twitter with the hashtag #AnswerIrelandsCall and through a dedicated website – www.AnswerIrelandsCall.com – which has been visited by medical professionals in 26 countries.
Neil Sands said; “I am incredibly proud of my alma mater’s generous offer to accommodate 20 health care workers. I have always considered Maynooth to be one of the most progressive and innovative third-level institutions in the country and opening its doors to house our health care heroes is just another example of that. Maynooth listened to the calls for colleges and universities to put their empty rooms to good use and have really stepped up.”
“We are unbelievably grateful to Maynooth, and to everyone who has donated their time, property or money to help the Ireland’s Call Initiative. These health care workers are making enormous sacrifices for Ireland in its hour of need and we should do everything we can to support them. It’s our chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with our front line.”