IRA bombing victims helping the vulnerable during COVID-19 isolation

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by Michael McHugh, PA

Victims of an IRA bombing in London's Docklands are helping the badly injured during Covid-19 isolation.

Hand sanitising gels, wipes, and masks to limit contamination and stop the spread of the disease are being delivered to the severely disabled.

The Docklands Victims Association (DVA) has for the past 24 years supported all victims of terrorism and other vulnerable groups within society.

Project coordinator Jonathan Ganesh said: "We will prevail against this global virus by caring for each other to prevent the spread of this deadly disease."

A facilities management company called Elite Support Services in London provided the sanitary materials for free.

Mr Ganesh said: "We can confirm we are working with our members who have been left severely disabled due to terrorism and other vulnerable people who desperately require support at this difficult time.

"However, the DVA would like to appeal to major victims groups within Northern Ireland and other organisations to ensure those in need are supported."

Some victims have been left with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other medical conditions, and the volunteers aim to ensure they do not feel alone while they remain indoors.

Mr Ganesh has been an international aid worker for number of years, previously during global crises in Thailand.

He was badly injured during the London Docklands IRA bombing in February 1996, which killed two people.

Ihsan Bashir's brother Inam Bashir was killed.

He said: "I'm a former chemotherapy patient and my immune system is low. Very grateful for the support of the DVA but very disappointed that other support groups appear to not to be helping those that may need support."

Mr Ganesh said he was very grateful to Elite Support Service for backing the initiative.

He added: "However, I'm very disappointed with the lack of response from major victims groups within Northern Ireland and others who should be providing reassurance and support to those with PTSD and other disabilities at this time.

"I also hope that other companies will follow the lead of Elite Support Services and supply essential items to those in need for free."

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