IASAQ Covid-19 Appeal
IASAQ are launching an appeal to support those affected by the current Covid-19 crisis and to ensure that no one is left behind. We need your help now more than ever to maintain our services to Irish and Irish Australian communities across Queensland.
With the global covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a surge in cases relating particularly to domestic violence, alcohol abuse and mental health issues. Additionally, many people are turning to us for assistance in either trying to remain in Australia, or return home to Ireland. We have seen a huge increase of people of all ages who find themselves stranded here in Queensland with either no support network, no resources, or a combination of both. Many people in their golden years have become stranded due to flight cancellations and not all of them can afford the exorbitant figures being quoted by airlines for a ticket home, in some cases people have been quoted north of $7,000 for a one-way ticket.
Furthermore, the older folks who are stranded are greatly concerned about the dangers of actually making the journey home, while the pandemic is still ongoing, and are simply scared of spending 10 or 12 hours sealed up in an airplane sharing facilities with a couple hundred strangers. Others are scared due to medications and scripts running out and how to resolve that. We are referring people to available local services all the time now, but a lot of people who are contacting us presently simply don’t qualify for any available assistance. At the other end of the age range you have young backpackers. Many of whom bought tickets to go home at greatly elevated prices, when the pandemic first began to become a serious issue only for those same flights to be cancelled at short notice and no refunds given. This group in particular are hit hard by moves like this, as four to seven thousand dollars would have kept a roof over their head and food in their belly for quite a long while.
Immigration issues are a big deal at the moment also with people not sure of how they can normalise their status here if they are stranded or if they wish to leave Australia and are citizens or permanent residents, how do they get permission to do so? What flights / airlines can they use? What happens when they arrive in Ireland? Their passport is expired how can I renew it because the office in Dublin is closed? And the list goes on and on and on. We are working very closely with the Embassy of Ireland in Canberra to deal with the cases they refer to us here in Queensland and also for us to help them to keep track of Irish citizens who are in need.
As you can tell, it’s an extraordinary amount of work to be dealing with and our coordinator Paddy is doing an incredible job in managing everything but we simply do not have the financial resources to help everyone. IASAQ always asks themselves the same question as a motivator “if it were my son or daughter, sister or brother, niece, nephew or grandchild, I’d hope someone was willing to give a damn and help them on the far side of the world too, wouldn’t I?” Our core mandate is support those who are most vulnerable; and those who will be susceptible to mental health, domestic violence, financial issues and personal despair. These people are our grandparents, parents, siblings, close friends and neighbours. Any donation, be it big or small, is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use to assist those must vulnerable in Queensland.
All donations over $2 are tax deductible. We know that these are tight times, but any contribution you can make, be it large or small will be put to good use to assist those most vulnerable in our Queensland community.
Click https://www.paypal.me/iasaq to donate or by bank transfer.
Bank: National Australia Bank
Account Name: Irish Australian Support Association of QLD (Benevolent Acc)
BSB: 084 402
Account Number: 161731058
Please use a reference COVID-19 APPEAL, name and email address for a tax receipt in your transfer description.
The Irish have a longstanding history of helping each other and this is no different. We thank you for your time and support 💚 🍀
Ní neart go cur le chéile - there is no strength without unity.