Irish motor dealers are working to support Ukraine by offering their premises as drop-off points for essential items needed in Ukraine.
Participating dealers are taking part in a humanitarian campaign ‘Safe harbour for Ukraine’ aim to gather essential supplies in Ireland and deliver them to Ukraine. The campaign begins on Wednesday May 11th and runs until Wednesday May 18th.
The authorities in Ukraine have created an essential supplies list and the goal is to gather as many of these items as possible. Motor dealerships across the island are offering their premises to provide easily accessible physical locations for secure drop offs.
According to the group, there is an immediate need for medicine, medical and electrical equipment. The public can assist by either making a donation through the website safeharbourforukraine.org/imdsupportingukraine/ where all funds raised will purchase essential items.
Alternatively you can drop any items listed on the website into your local participating motor dealer. Currently there are over 65 participating dealerships nationwide, with numbers growing.
The project is being managed by Rory Dennehy of Dennehy Motor Group, who says it evolved from talks with his brother John Dennehy, co-founder of various tech companies including Zartis and Hirehive, and Derry Cronin of Cronin Coaches.
With advice from a Polish employee of one of Cronin’s businesses working on the Ukraine border with his wife, who is a nurse, to help refugees, they initially organised a 57-seater bus filled with urgent supplies. It returned with women and children escaping the war.
“We reached out to our local communities and contacts and the bus was filled with supplies really quicky thanks to their massive generosity,” says Rory Dennehy.
Thanks to the Safe Harbour initiative, the Ukranian women and children have since been hosted and employment and education for them has been organised, thanks to the incredible generosity of people in Cork and Limerick.
What started out as an idea between the three has grown into a network of volunteers numbering nearly 40, with strong contacts on the ground at the Polish-Ukranian border who can advise on the most urgent supplies needed right now.
“Many motor dealers I liaised with wanted to get involved, they wanted to do something to help. We had the blueprint in place and the contacts and we know what’s required as we are on to them on a daily basis.”
Staff and customers are also eager to help, says Dennehy, who points to the facilities in place for secure drop-off and the logistics experience of the industry.
“As motor dealers and business owners we strongly believe that we have both the opportunity and responsibility to facilitate this campaign and recognise the dire situation the people of Ukraine are forced to endure since war was inflicted upon them.
“We appreciate and acknowledge the generosity of the Irish public and Irish business community to date, but unfortunately as the war continues in the Ukraine the need for support grows.”