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Limerick Contact Tracing team take on Jerusalema for charity

The team at the Limerick Contact Tracing Centre took a break from the stresses of their work recently to join in Ireland’s Jerusalema dance challenge trend and raise money for a local suicide charity at the same time.

Visual Content Editor Jacinta Moore, who is part of the team, is an MA Researcher with Limerick School of Art & Design LIT, was the driving force behind the initiative, which helped boost morale at the busy centre.

Jacinta put forward a proposal to produce the video in February. Following approval and together with CTC staff colleague and DCU multimedia graduate Matthew Ryan, she began advancing the project. Under the expertise of in-house dance tutor and Clinical Lead Caroline McConnell, staff practised on a daily basis for a number of weeks during break times. Former HSE Director of Nursing in Mental Health Ger Hoey led from the front with his Irish dancing steps and motivated the dancing squad.

Dance scenes were filmed at Limerick city locations, including the Gothic Revival-styled interior of the Red Church, People's Park, interior and exterior settings at 98 Henry Street offices, and Sarsfield Park environs. Luke Shortt, a drone operator in Limerick city, provided the aerial footage for the video.  

“At a time when the world is dominated by the ongoing pandemic, the Irish people are continuing to support each other in solidarity, during these most challenging times.  The simplest of actions; bringing a smile to a face, helping those in need and generating joy in others, now that's 'food for the soul',” said Jacinta.

During the project, Limerick Contact Tracing Centre staff Debbie Burke, shift lead, and contact tracer Jamie Kelly organised fundraising events including a raffle for local charity, Limerick Suicide Watch.  Over €900 was raised for the volunteer group, who patrol Limerick city providing this important service. 

Staff morale

Through regular dance routines and filming sessions, collegiality and staff morale was boosted.  Through the leadership of HSE Mid-West IT General Manager Gordon Graham the Limerick team commenced the rollout of their first centre in early March 2020 at the Revenue Commissioners offices in Sarsfield House, Limerick. From there, four additional centres were commissioned. Today, there are 160 staff providing contact tracing for COVID-19 in the Limerick centres. 

Clinical Manager is Nora Fitzpatrick, former Director of Nursing and Midwifery, University Hospital Limerick, with staff benefitting from her guidance and experience.  Also supporting has been General Manager Mary Flynn, formally Assistant Director of Midwifery, Cork University Hospital and more recently Head of Operations and Deputy General Manager in Cork Contact Tracing Centre who has joined the Limerick team at the helm.  Mary’s  kind words have been important for staff and has helped foster a positive work environment within the Limerick Contact Tracing Centres.

Enjoy their Jerusalema routine below.