Irish rock band U2 is contributing €10 million for the sourcing and purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supports to help combat Covid-19 in Ireland, and support frontline healthcare workers.
The first part of the shipment arrived yesterday.
The large consignment of medical supplies arrived at Dublin Airport after a collaboration between a number of private and public companies.
Eleven days ago, Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon offered one of its planes to the Health Service Executive. Yesterday, it delivered the large cargo, including 40 ventilators.
Touching down at the airport with a cargo-load of medical supplies from China, Avolon re-routed the plane which was due to travel from Beijing to France.
"This entire project was conceived and executed in just ten days," said Emmet Moloney of Avolon. "We want to support the remarkable people on the front lines of our healthcare services. Avolon is an Irish company. We're proud and privileged to play our part in that."
Avolon said it is confident the supplies are of the highest quality available.
"We're talking 40 ventilators, approximately 60,000 goggles, 20,0000 face masks - which are the type of masks required in the ICU settings - also over a million disposable gloves, so it's a significant amount of equipment," said Dr Niall Mulvihill, a consultant cardiologist.
"To the best of our knowledge it's all been quality assured but obviously we'll have to check it on arrival."
We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
Paddy Mallon, Professor of Microbial Diseases at UCD, added: "It's fabulous seeing the innovation the Irish diaspora is using to try to get these supplies back into the country.
"They've been vitally useful to us on the front line in terms of the frontline services within our Covid emergency department pathway, as well as helping us to take care of the people on the wards here, a lot of whom are in the process of recovering from the infection. It's really welcome."
The delivery was a collaboration between Avolon, Cork company PCH, the HSE, the IDA and the Irish Embassy in China.
In a statement yesterday, the HSE said many supply partners are working extremely hard to meet its requirements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"While the HSE cannot comment on any individual transaction, all products procured are checked to ensure they meet the highest international standards before being transported. Products received into our warehouse are inspected prior to delivery to hospitals and nursing homes across the country," the statement added.
Additional reporting Dyane Connor