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'It's tough on old people. You can't talk to them or mix with them' - a delivery driver's work during a crisis

Waterford legend Dan Shanahan talks about how Covid-19 has impacted his job.

Dan Shanahan [file pic].
Dan Shanahan [file pic].
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Updated Apr 22nd 2020, 8:02 PM

WORKING LIFE IS progressing as normal for Dan Shanahan amidst the troubles of the coronavirus.

Many people are out of work as a result of the crisis, but Shanahan’s job as a delivery driver is keeping him on the road and providing an essential service to his customers.

Shanahan enjoys being his own boss in this trade, and under normal circumstances, there’s a lovely social element that accompanies his work.

A video posted on Twitter recently showcases how Shanahan is still managing to fulfil that brief despite the social restrictions.

The three-time All-Star is seen pucking the ball around after delivering oil to a household, his gesture bringing some calm in a world that has been rattled by Covid-19.

But the new rules have impacted on the Lismore man’s work, and how he interacts with elderly consumers.

“In my job, we’re going delivering things to people and keeping people warm,” Shanahan explains to The42.

It’s tough on old people. You can’t talk to them or mix with them because of coronavirus. Usually we’d talk to them for a couple of minutes because they mightn’t see anyone else that day.

“Now you can’t do that, it’s just the delivery, ‘thank you very much,’ and hope to see them the next time you go round. I suppose it’s the same for everyone.

“I’m working when there’s so many people not working and it’s hard on everyone. Even people working from home who are trying to mind kids and trying to keep them in in this weather. It’s unbelievably hard.

“Please God we’ll get through it and it’ll go as quick as it came. Obey the rules, stay in and stay out of everyone’s way.”

Shanahan called time on his inter-county career in 2011 after a 15-year spell in the Déise jersey. He continues to hurl for Lismore, while his coaching career is still blossoming.

He was part of Derek McGrath’s backroom team with the Waterford hurlers, their alliance almost delivering All-Ireland success for the county in 2017.

Earlier this year, Shanahan took his coaching game a step further. He accepted a position with the Waterford camogie team, where he was reunited with manager Fergal O’Brien. The pair worked together as part of that backroom team under McGrath.

“Fergal would have come to me at the end of 2019 and asked me if I’d get involved,” Shanahan says, explaining how he got involved in the team.

I just thought it suited me at the time. I’m still doing a bit of hurling at the moment. Working with the ladies really opened my eyes. They train as hard as the lads but don’t get the recognition.

“They’re travelling, no expenses. They’re lucky if they get a post-match meal. It really opened my eyes but the effort that they’re putting in for me and Fergal this year has been phenomenal.


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“To this day, I’m getting reports on my phone of the training they’re doing away from the fields. The stuff they’re putting up on the WhatsApp group is unbelievable.”

dan-shanahan-speaks-to-his-players-before-the-game Dan Shanahan with the Waterford camogie team before a league game this year. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

All camogie activity is postponed until at least 5 May, although that is likely to continue as the world tries to contain the spread of Covid-19. Prior to the postponements, Waterford were in third place on Group 2 of the Division 1 table after playing three games.

“It was hard for us,” says Shanahan about playing through the league without players from the Gailtír club, who won the All-Ireland intermediate club title in March.

“The Gailltír girls had their All-Ireland and we were missing six or seven of them. We’re just too small of a county to do without so many girls at that level. But again, they’re on individual programmes and please God, we’ll be back together soon enough.”

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