The organisers of a fundraising campaign for Native Americans hit by the coronavirus have thanked Irish donors for their support.

People from Ireland have been sending money through a 'GoFundMe' page set up to help Navajo and Hopi families, with many of the Irish donors saying it was a way of saying thank you for the support shown to Ireland during the Great Famine.

In 1847, the Choctaw Native American people sent $170 of relief aid to Ireland, the equivalent of around $5,000 today.

This came at a time when the Choctaw people themselves were living in relative poverty.

So far $1.7m of the fund's $2m target has been raised and organisers have thanked Irish people for their support.

"Several of our recent donations for our GoFundMe campaign have been inspired by the Great Hunger Famine in Ireland which started in 1845", said team member Vanessa Tulley.

"173 years later to today, the favour is returned through generous donations from the Irish people to the Navajo Nation during our time of crisis.

"Thank you, Ireland, for showing solidarity and being here for us," she said.

Irish donor, Pat Hayes, sent a message of support along with his donation.

"From Ireland, 170 years later, the favour is returned! To our Native American brothers and sisters in your moment of hardship", he wrote.

In March 2018, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited the Choctaw community in Oklahoma to thank them for their generosity to Ireland during the famine.

Mr Varadkar also announced the establishment of a scholarship programme allowing members of the Choctaw Native American community to come to Ireland to study.

A sculpture called 'Kindred Spirits' in Midleton, Co Cork, commemorates the generosity shown to Ireland by the Choctaw people.