Bishop Paul Colton takes part in New COVID-19 Community Response Forum established by Cork City Council

At the request of Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government,  Eoghan Murphy, T.D., a COVID-19 Community Response Forum (CRF) is being put in place in Cork City and will be co-ordinated by Cork City Council.  A similar initiative will be set up in County Cork.

Bishop Paul Colton, accepted an invitation from the CEO of Cork City Council, Ann Doherty, to be a member of the CRF and, he joined nearly 30 others for the first meeting yesterday held using  an online meeting facility.

From today, Monday 30th March a dedicated community support helpline will be running from 9-5pm seven days a week to help ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels and can avail of social care supports, if needed.

The new phoneline is just one aspect of the Forum’s work. Its core aim is contributing to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring a co-ordinated community response. The Council’s COVID-19 CRF will work to ensure that local community resources are getting to the people that need them including social care support and social contact.

Taking part in the Cork City CRF are Cork City Council, the HSE,  GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross  – Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross – Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork Education and Training Board, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, the Order of Malta, An Post, An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, and the IFA amongst others.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Dr John Sheehan said:

Cork City Council wants to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone in our city and so I am urging everyone to stay safe and follow all the stay home, physical distancing, hand hygiene and coughing etiquette advice from HSE Public Health. However, doing this can be particularly hard on our most vulnerable, some of whom are particularly isolated already and this is where the Cork City Covid-19 CRF comes in to bring some support to those at greatest risk at these times.

Cork City Council CE, Ann Doherty said:

There are many, many agencies currently doing super work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people in our communities and this forum is aimed at building on this, not duplicating it. These groups are operating independently of each other and our role is to provide a targeted, integrated and coordinated approach to the delivery of these much needed services to our more socially isolated citizens. We want to build on the existing good local knowledge that the voluntary groups and agencies have about those at risk in our communities.

Bishop Paul Colton said:

This is a time for partnership and for pooling our resources.  We unite from many backgrounds and roles, to share expertise and weigh in together with what needs to be done.  I am pleased to be involved on behalf of the Church of Ireland in Cork as our people have a lot of gifts, experience and energy to bring to this current time.

Details of this new service will be promoted on .

An information leaflet including the new freephone number and other information will be distributed around the city, particularly to vulnerable households.

The new Cork City COVID-19 CRF helpline is 1800-222-226. Support can also be accessed via

Cork City Hall


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