Twin Towns charity expects late Covid-19 surge for help

A Twin Towns charity that raises funds for local emergencies for families who find themselves in extreme difficulties is expecting a surge in requests due to the new coronavirus.

Cunamh have donated in excess of half a million euro through helping families in need since the voluntary organisation was founded in September 1982.

The idea of setting up Cunamh came from John Flanagan from Kilross after locals had got together to help a family whose child was critically ill. As it took some time to raise the funds necessary the idea of Cunamh started so to have in place funds for emergencies in the future.


Mr Flanagan and Stephen Foy, also one of the founding members, continue to work with the charity today.

“Ironically, we’re quiet at the moment as the 350 euro being paid out to families who have lost income as a result of the coronavirus is helping to keep things going. We feel that we won’t feel the full impact of what’s going on at the moment until maybe twelve months down the road,” Mary McGinley, Cunamh PRO said.

The charity’s main source of income at present is from the Cunamh charity shop in Stranorlar and from the annual Church gate collection in Stranorlar, Sessiaghoneill and Glenfin – their immediate catchment area.

In the last couple of years they’ve held very successful Fashion Shows in the Villa Rose Hotel but this year’s fund-raiser, a Mr & Mrs Competition, pencilled in for May 22, has been cancelled.

“Hopefully those who volunteered to take part will still make themselves available whenever it’s rescheduled,” she said.

“Cunamh help families who find themselves in emergency situations Every inquiry is thoroughly investigated and a decision is made by the committee as to how we can proceed,” she added.

People have been very generous donating clothes, shoes, handbags, hats and bric a brac since the shop opened in 2018 but it too has had to close its doors in recent weeks.


“If someone in the community dies and their partner is struggling to pay the funeral costs we step in. Similarly, if someone gets cancer or another serious or terminal illness we can help provide funds that will allow them to stay in Dublin or wherever to be close to their loved one. We’ve also helped families over the years who have been affected by house fires and other general cases of hardship,” Ms McGinley said.

“The country is going to be in a bad way after this coronavirus and during times of hardship, one of the first places many people turn for help is to their loved one and family members. The message we would like to get out is that we’re also there to help,” she added.

The name Cunamh translates to mean ‘Aid Help and Assistance’ and the group were given this name by the late Fr John Maguire, Glenfin.

“Cunamh has developed from strength to strength over the years helping many families but more fundraising is needed as we find there are more families coming forward who are in need.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness and generosity down through the years because without you we could not have helped as many families as we have. Every penny is put to good use and very much appreciated by all who have benefited from it,” Mrs McGinley said.

Cunamh is a registered charity and can be contacted through any committee member or on 0876510810



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