ICOS has transferred €190,000 to the Irish Red Cross following an appeal from Longford dairy farmer Mike Magan which saw dairy farmers donate to a fund to aid the people of Yemen.
The results of that grassroots campaign were realised on Friday as the leaders of co-operatives from all over Ireland joined ICOS president Jerry Long and Mike Magan in an online ceremony to transfer €190,000 to the Irish Red Cross, represented by Frank Phelan.
Magan supplies milk to Lakeland Dairies and the farmer-owned co-operative strongly backed his initiative.
An additional €100,000 was also donated by other companies and individuals in the dairy supply chain in support of the initiative.
Magan had described his feelings on seeing the dreadful plight of children and families in Yemen.
He proposed a grassroots initiative asking each of Ireland’s dairy farmers to donate the equivalent of one day's milk from a cow to the Irish Red Cross for its work in Yemen.
Irish farm families and their dairy co-operatives responded immediately.
Pressing the button for the transfer of €190,000 to the Irish Red Cross, ICOS president Jerry Long said: “This is a very significant gesture of solidarity by the dairy farmers of Ireland, along with their co-operatives and milk purchasers, to recognise and respond to the plight of those significantly less fortunate than ourselves.
“The inception of this initiative comes down to the passion of one man, Mike Magan, who reached out to ICOS, among others, with his idea to respond to a shocking human tragedy that was emerging in Yemen.
“Its success was then assured as co-op leaders and farm families across the country responded magnificently, each using methods appropriate to their own structure to raise the necessary funds," he said, thanking the farmers, co-ops and milk processors for their response to the call.
Mike Magan said he was humbled, but not surprised by the response of the dairy farming community and others who have donated to this cause.
Frank Phelan, representing the Irish Red Cross, said it was an all-island appeal and that the total amount raised so far is over €305,000, which is an amazing result and that the funds will have a long-lasting impact on the communities it will be used in.