Recently, I was invited to address a meeting in Skibbereen on rural isolation by none other than a Garda Sergeant. I had come to her notice as someone who cared about rural Ireland and the problems that are encountered on a daily basis. Sergeant Edel Burke is stationed in Co Clare. For the last three or four years in the line of her duties, Edel has realised that she might be the only person that a farmer might see in a day, or even a week. The idea that people were that isolated from interaction with others bothered her deeply. She organised a meeting on rural isolation in her own work area.
It was well received. She continued her efforts all over Co Clare. Good news spreads and she has since helped her colleagues in Mayo and Donegal to organise meetings in their areas. Recently she was contacted by her colleagues in West Cork. Her latest gathering has been in Skibbereen.