They say necessity is the mother of invention which is true, no truer than now in these times, it is also necessity that inspires the good and the great in people. Here in the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak healthcare professionals were desperate for the PPE needed to protect themselves from probably the most contagious virus the world has ever seen. The purchasing departments of the NHS were in struggling to cope, large and ponderous, they could not respond quickly enough to the PPE crisis of our NHS front line staff.
What was needed was a quick response from people who could make things happen quickly without red tape, purchase orders and systems.
Step forward Tommy Fanthorpe, the landlord of our new distillery and owner of Armagh Industrial Bearing Supplies in Moy, a man so well connected in the heavy machinery industry in this area he was able to quickly amass an army of 120 volunteers. He coordinated this local team and reached out across the community to collect essential PPE and distribute it to the hospitals across the region quickly and efficiently . Ably assisted by John Little of McCloskey International who knew people who were able to help fund this mammoth effort, people such as Conor Ward of Harpscreen and Terramac.
Tommy approached us with a desperate need for hand sanitiser, unfortunately we were bound by HMRC red tape that would not allow us to make sanitiser from our ethanol, unfazed by this Ulrich called in favours from old friends in the pharmaceutical industry and managed to get his hands on isopropyl alcohol thanks to the generosity of Almac in Craigavon, and to Hannons Transport who provided hazardous goods transport, and other local businesses who provided containers. Within a couple of days we had been able to produce 300 litres of sanitiser for Tommy and his rescue efforts.
Our hats go off to all the people mentioned here and more (you know who you are) who have contributed to this amazing effort.
Tommy “The General” needs a medal when this war is won.