Irish truckers leave for Ukraine with 500 tonnes of aid

Irish truckers have started a journey to Ukraine carrying 500 tonnes of aid for the war-torn country.

The first part of a convoy of 25 Irish trucks, carrying hundreds of tonnes of aid to the Ukrainian people, left Dublin Port early Tuesday afternoon.

Goods, including medical supplies and clothing, are sourced from individuals, community groups and businesses across the island of Ireland.

Aid From Ireland lorry driver Adam Johnston (Niall Carson/PA)

(PA wire)

The trucks, which are expected to reach the Ukrainian-Polish border by the end of the week, have been supplied by hauliers from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Irish Ferries has also offered its support to the Aid From Ireland initiative.

Tatyana Buhera, a Ukrainian who has lived in Ireland for several years, was part of the organizing effort.

She hailed the support that has come from Ireland since Russia invaded her home country.

But she said NATO should impose a no-fly zone on her country.

“It’s very important because people who have left their homes probably have nothing but documents with them. It is so important for little children to have food, to have clothes,” she said.

Help has been donated by individuals, community groups and businesses across the island of Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)

(PA wire)

“And also it is important for these brave men and women who are trying to fight the enemy, they have no means for it.

“Warm clothes, merchandise – it’s so important for them to keep fighting and protecting their families.”

Ms Buhera said her brother was in Ukraine and ready to fight if necessary.

“No one is hiding. Everybody wants to go fight,” she said.

“The nation is united like never before.”

Ray Cole, the director of logistics firm Virginia Transport, said the convoy leaving Dublin was the “first tranche” of aid.

Truck driver Donal Lennon holds a flag in his cab as Irish aid trucks prepare to leave Dublin Port (Niall Carson/PA)

(PA wire)

Mr Cole said 11 trucks, with 11 drivers, were the first part of the convoy to leave.

They contain “everything and anything”, he said.

One truck, Mr Cole said, contained 10 tonnes of oatmeal, while others contained clothing, food and medical equipment.

He said his company employed a lot of people from Ukraine.

“We just want to give something back,” he said.

“Ireland has always been good at supporting people in need. We are just doing our part to help them. It is a tragedy what is happening. Anything we can do to help them.

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