Danger lurked: Raw courage won

    By Jimmy Rhatigan

    BRAVE Snowbusters may not want to talk about any dangers our local volunteer force may have faced on their rescue and delivery journeys.

    Not only were our local heroes resilient but they showed raw courage too as they battled drifts of snow and slush covered roads that were potential skating rinks.

    But courage brought its reward.

    “I brought the family of a 94 year old lady to her home in Paulstown. There was pure relief for the lady and also for her family who were so happy to care for her. The journey was tough but very satisfying,” Snowbuster, Tony Coy told The Reporter.

    “People were so grateful for what little things, a food wrap, a gallon of paraffin.

    “They were so happy and pleased to get help. You would swear we had given them one of our lungs.”

    Castlecomer volunteer, Billy epitomised real courage.

    His mission was to drive a local nurse to early hospital duty.

    He left his home at 5.30am, planning to have the dedicated nurse in work for 6.30am.

    Roads were hazardous and snow drifts loomed large. Lesser beings would have thrown in the towel when Billy’s vehicle looked to be snowbound.

    He refused to panic, extracted his motor from the elements and decided that the shorter route to the woman’s home was a ‘no go’.

    He opted for what was called a 10-mile scenic route, more mileage but possibly less hazardous, arrived safely and turned around immediately to get his frontline passenger to ward duty before 8.30am.

    Tony Coy said nurses and frontline workers generally showed incredible devotion to duty. “We collected a lot of nurses, some had slept on floors, away from their own families for up to four days, but there was not a moan.

    “I drove to St Columba’s Hospital, Thomastown for kitchen staff at St Columba’s, who had been three days away from their homes, showing total loyalty to their duties. No one complained.”

    Tony said an amazing team effort was supported by businesses like Barlo Nissan who supplied a 4×4 free of charge and local radio, KCLR paid the insurance on the vehicle.