Lonely on Valentines, not on this Longford bus driver’s run

Longford Leader reporter

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Lonely on Valentines, not on this Longford bus driver’s run

Say it with Roses! Ann Marie McGuire (manager SuperValu), Enda Sheehan (Local Link Longford driver) , Pat Smyth (owner SuperValu Ballymahon) and Michelle Mullan (manager SuperValu)

Local Link Longford legend Enda Sheehan was making sure no one was feeling lonely in the run up to Valentine’s Day. 

Enda is a Local Link Longford Westmeath Roscommon (Local Link LWR) bus driver and for nearly a year, his older passengers have been heeding the government’s advice to stay safe at home.  

Enda remarked, "Many of my passengers have been staying safe at home and Local Link LWR have been bringing them home their groceries, medicines and fuel. Anything they need really.  

“This week, I thought it would be a lovely surprise to bring them a small token for Valentine's day and Smyth's Supervalu came on board and we brought around chocolate roses."

It wasn't just the chocolate that people really appreciated, Enda also brought with them the ladies that has been taking their calls and organising their groceries for them. 

"I brought managers Michelle Mullan and Ann Marie Maguire, and Frances Esler from Smyth's Supervalu with me, so they and our passengers could put a face to the voice. For many of our passengers this was a lovely treat and the Super Valu team recognised their voices when they were speaking to them.  

“That strengthens the important contact that exists between our passengers and the person that is helping them every week to get their groceries sorted." 

Also read: Longford shoppers asked to support Irish Heart Foundation's Valentine fundraising drive

Enda delivers about half a dozen drops of messages every day of the week to our passengers that are following the Government's guidelines to cocoon at home.  

"Local Link LWR play a really important role in our passengers’ lives. We are a link not just between their home and the nearest town but we are also a link to other people. I never just drop and run with these messages- I will always spend 5- or 10-minutes chatting.  

“On one of my runs recently, I found that the lady in the home's mobile phone was not working and I fixed it before I left I also helped another correctly install their smart alarm. I may be the only person they will see so it’s important they know they can rely on me and on Local Link." 

The chocolate roses were sponsored by Smyths Supervalu in Ballymahon and dropped out to all the people that phone in their shopping to the store.  

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"We are delighted to have brought a token of our affection and appreciation out to our customers. We understand these have been challenging times and we appreciate their continued support of us and in return we will continue to work to support them. Hopefully very soon we shall all see each other again," said Pat Smyth, owner of SuperValu in Ballymahon. 

The protocols for safe delivery that all Local Link drivers use was followed- in other words the door was knocked the groceries put down and then the driver steps right back from the door to create the correct social distance.  

It is a team effort in Smyth's SuperValu, "While the Ladies were out with Enda delivering roses, manager Anthony McGovern continued to prepare the shopping orders to make sure there was delay in getting groceries out to people, " said Pat.  

Also read: Ballymahon's KTG releases two songs in time for Valentine’s Day

"People love to chat; I always let them know they can call me at any time if they need something and I’ll be sure to make sure it’s collected and dropped out to them. We are delivering not just groceries but important orders made in the chemists and fuel. I'm glad to have the opportunity to do this and proud to work in an organisation that is part of the community response,” said Enda, “I’m blessed to have this work and this opportunity to play my part.”