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Orange Order buys PPE for healthcare staff on island of Ireland

The shipment includes tens of thousands of masks and aprons and a large volume of hand sanitiser.

File photo
File photo
Image: PA Images

THE ORANGE ORDER has purchased a shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) to distribute to healthcare workers across the island of Ireland.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland described the consignment as “very significant” and said it includes tens of thousands of masks and aprons and a large volume of hand sanitiser.

The institution said the shipment has arrived in Northern Ireland and will be divided among its 12 county grand lodges on the island for distribution through 108 district lodges.

In a statement, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Edward Stevenson said the organisation hopes the PPE  “will make a real difference to local doctors and nurses, who are at the front line of helping to fight Covid-19, and those providing care and essential services in the community”.

Stevenson said the shipment of products, which includes masks, aprons and hand sanitiser, “will be distributed as widely as possible by our membership, many of whom have already been very active themselves in raising money, sharing much-needed supplies and helping older people in their own communities”. 

The Grand Lodge said some local lodges had already undertaken their own initiatives to secure PPE.

Earlier this month the Orange Order cancelled its traditional Twelfth of July parades due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

2.20362628 Edward Stevenson (file photo) Source: Brian Lawless/PA Images

Stevenson said the current crisis “has highlighted the charitable, benevolent and fraternal elements of the Order which, although always important, are often unseen”.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all key workers who are working so hard to tackle this dreadful disease,” he said. 

While we look forward to the days when we can get out and about again, it is most important that everyone continues to adhere to the government guidelines in relation to staying at home and, if you must go out, respect the social distancing advice.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those affected by Covid-19 and the health professionals as they work to tackle this awful virus.”

Over the weekend healthcare workers on the frontline of Ireland’s Covid-19 outbreak made a fresh appeal for members of the public to donate items of PPE.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said on Sunday that the extraordinary global demand for PPE means it is now like “gold dust” and countries are paying a “premium price” to secure the equipment.

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Contains reporting from PA 

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Órla Ryan

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