Workers from the Verolme Dockyard in Cork are giving up their free time to help old people in Kilkenny.
The Cork men are members of a voluntary group called 'Christian Community Action' (CCA). The work they are doing is for Freshford, County Kilkenny, a small village of 1,300 people located nine miles from Kilkenny city.
An old disused schoolhouse is being renovated and converted into a home for old people. All of the work is being carried out by volunteers from around the country including Verolme which is over a hundred miles away.
Part of their work in CCA involves travelling around the country to give their skilled help where ever it's needed.
Sister Patricia and Sister Beatrice are behind the Freshford initiative hoping to provide a home for older people within their own community. To carry out the work professionally would have cost £18,000. So, they have enlisted the help of voluntary workers instead. The nuns contacted Father Hugh Duffy, who enlisted the help of volunteers from the CCA which he helped to set up four years earlier. The hope is that the building will provide independent living for twelve people. Relying on the generosity of volunteers means that most of the work on the building is being done at night and over the weekends. The Verlome workers are making wardrobes and units for the home, and once completed fourteen of them will travel to Freshford to fit the furnishings.
Doireann Ní Bhriain meets some of the volunteers as they put the finishing touches to the furnishings in the Verolme dockyard. Father Hugh Duffy describes the CCR as
A form of Christian witness which is practical and meaningful in today's terms not like the cloud cuckoo world of Christianity that we've been used to in the past.
The CCA has about two hundred volunteers from the Verolme Dockyard as well as many more volunteers from throughout Ireland. What is unusual about the Verolme volunteers is that the are all skilled workers carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.
It has created a spirit of community and cooperation.
This episode of Tangents was broadcast on 27 April 1973. The reporter is Doireann Ní Bhriain.
A miscellany of events, entertainment, opinions and personalities, 'Tangents' was first aired on Monday 25 September 1972 and ran until 1974. Tangents was presented by Cathal O'Shannon and Doireann Ní Bhriain on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and by John O'Donoghue each Tuesday.