We will update this post as new advice becomes available for community groups.

2 April 2020
County Helpline Numbers
Each county now has a dedicated Local Authority Helpline.
The numbers are available here:
1 April 2020
Home Crime Prevention
In these difficult times it is important to remain aware of potential crime, particularly to the homes of the vulnerable. The Garda advice below may be of assistance.
30 March 2020
Prescription Advice

The following advice is from our partners, Alone.

  • Older patients should not be concerned about accessing their medication. It can be ordered, collected and delivered (certainly in the larger cities) by calling their pharmacy. In rural areas, there will be sufficient volunteers and pharmacy staff to deliver.
  • Govt is currently reviewing legislation so that pharmacies can use an old prescription for up to 6 months from the date it is issued.

If you need assistance in getting prescription medicine delivered, you should contact your local volunteer number, if you have it available. Otherwise, contact the Alone helpline at 0818 222024.

29 March 2020
You may find our resources page useful.
23 March 2020
Partnership with Alone.
We are pleased to be working in partnership with Alone to respond to COVID-19. Many Muintir groups are actively supporting their local communities and providing telephone support. We, and the communities, are very grateful for this. However, we recognise there are gaps around the country and we cannot directly help everybody. Therefore we are promoting Alone’s call service for those who need help or support which they cannot access directly. In return, we will support Alone by linking them with our groups where they need extra support. This is part of our policy of working with other organisations and avoiding duplication.
Alone can be contacted at 0818 222 024 (8am to 8pm).


18 March 2020

Gardaí to provide extra community supports.

Muintir operates Community Alert in partnership with An Garda Síochána. AGS have announced they will provide additional community supports during the COVOD-19 outbreak, and have hired additional cars to provide these supports.

The full press release follows. Individuals with concerns should contact their local Garda Station or Community Alert contact.

“An Garda Síochána is in the process of hiring additional vehicles to provide additional mobility to our members nationwide to provide increased community support and community engagement across the country.

Speaking today Deputy Commissioner Twomey stated that “As a community at this time we need more than ever to support the most vulnerable in our society, particularly our elderly and isolated. An Garda Síochána has always worked closely with our communities and we continue to do so in these extraordinary times”.

An Garda Síochána continue to urge families, neighbours and community groups to engage with people in line with ‘social distancing’ guidelines.

As an organisation, Gardaí across the country are being asked to actively identify those persons most at need, particularly those with limited local family or social support. In these cases An Garda Síochána will assist.

These ‘contingency’ vehicles will be used to maintain personal interactions and where needed to assist and support people, which may include collecting medical prescriptions, attending hospital appointments and other supports they may need. They are not ‘primary response vehicles’.

An Garda Síochána will also use these opportunities to link identified people into local, national and state services where appropriate.

Any person with these concerns for themselves or for a neighbour should contact their local Garda station, Contact details, including email contact, for all Garda stations can be found on the Garda website or in any phonebook.

An Garda Síochána has established a COVID-19 National Co-Ordination Unit operating from Garda Headquarters under Deputy Commissioner Twomey, Policing and security to co-ordinate and manage a strategic Garda response to this dynamic situation. Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security currently chairs daily meetings with Regional Commanders and Heads of Section monitoring the evolving position”.

13 March 2020

Dear colleague

I am writing to you in connection with COVID-19, and particularly the latest Government advice.

Firstly I want to assure you that Muintir na Tíre is actively working to do everything in our power to mitigate the consequences of this pandemic. The Department of Rural and Community Development has formed an advisory group titled the “Advisory Group on Community Response to needs of vulnerable people.” This recognises that the primary health services may not cope alone with the expected fallout, and that community assistance will be vital. Muintir has been appointed to this body and we are currently liaising with other organisations to present a co-ordinated approach. We will update you on this in the coming days.

Secondly I want to assure you that our Head Office and our Development Officers remain available to provide any help or support that we can. With over 1,400 groups, and an average membership of just over 200, Community Alert is present in most communities in Ireland. As well as Crime Prevention, one of the main aims of Community Alert is Community Safety. Therefore Community Alert Groups are essential in providing a community response. However, we realise that in asking groups to respond, they must also be given support and coherent advice.

We are receiving many contacts looking for advice, and thought the following might be a useful starting point.

Should we hold meetings?
As you probably know, the Government has advised that meetings of over 100 people should be postponed. This is larger than the average Community Alert meeting. However, many groups are being pro-active and postponing any meetings which are not essential at this time. This is particularly important given the age profile of many Community Alert groups.

How can we organise instead?
Obviously if groups are to assist their communities, some form of communication is needed. Groups who are already well organised may be able to use existing structures and simply telephone members. However, other groups may need more consultation. There are several tools which may help.

Firstly there are free video conferencing tools such as Skype and Zoom. These do require a video device such as a laptop or smartphone. If these are not widely used in your community, you could consider a conference call facility. One such example is www.conference365instant.ie. These services typically do not have an overall cost, but each caller pays a premium rate (eg 30 cent per minute). There are several other similar providers.

For groups already using our Cairde mobile app (www.cairdeapp.ie), it provides the ideal community messaging tool. Many communities are using this to organise lifts, grocery drops, prescription collections, etc. The free panic button feature is also particularly useful.

Finally, if your group uses Community Text Alert, this can be used to quickly get a message to the community, with vital details such as a contact telephone number. If your group uses the Muintir BeAlert system, but usage has lapsed, simply contact our Head Office and we will assist you to get it up and running again.

Can we call house to house?
This will involve careful consideration by your group. Social distancing is a key element of the Government response, but we also need to avoid social isolation where possible. Much of the contact and reassurance can be done by telephone. However there will be cases where a visit is necessary. You should consider the following:
• Where delivering supplies to a person in self-isolation, they can be left on a doorstep.
• Where the person has no symptoms and is not in self-isolation, visits could take place but the recommended practice should be followed. This involves keeping a distance of at least 2 metres, minimising contact time (eg 15 minutes), not shaking hands, and frequent hand washing. Further advice can be found on the HSE website (https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html).
• You should also consider the underlying vulnerability (age and medical condition) of the person making the visit and minimise this exposure.

We will post regular updates on our website (www.muintir.ie).
Contact details for Development Officers for each county are available at https://www.muintir.ie/about-us/contact/community-alert-development-officers/
Or you can contact our Head Office at 062 51163 or info@muintir.ie.

We will be back in contact shortly as the situation, and our response, evolves. In the meantime I wish you, and your communities, a safe time.


Niall Garvey
Muintir na Tíre