Irish Red Cross Volunteer James LaffertyWhat made you want to volunteer?

I was kidnapped in Accra Ghana in October 2007 and held for six Days.  I swore to myself, if I got away, I would do something usefully with my time for charity. There was an advert on Clare FM for volunteers to fundraise for Cahercalla Hospital and in turn I met a lovely lady Shirley Benson ADU of the Irish Red Cross Clare and in turn I Joined the Irish Red Cross Clare and shortly afterwards elected Treasurer Irish Red Cross Clare.      

What do you find interesting about the IRC/Red Cross?

It gives me an opportunity to help people.

(If a long time) What made you stay on so long?

My goal is to fundraise enough money to provide a Community Vehicle/Ambulance-Mini Bus for the people of Clare

Day job/what was it if retired? Interests?

I used to run a Book keeping & Accounts Service and Project management on construction projects. I am now retired on disability allowance & love creating my art in my spare time.


What does your family think about you being involved?

They think it is great it get me out of the family home and helps me to deal with my depression after the Kidnapping. On the other hand, they think I’m mad to sit out in the rain for days on end collecting money.

What do your friends think about you being involved?

They think I am great to do what I do and at times I should be locked up when they see me collecting money in the rain.

What IRC activities are you involved in?


I am currently treasurer of the Irish Red Cross Ennis Branch & Clare Area in addition to dealing with the Ireland floods appeal in Clare.

What’s a typical day or week as a volunteer?

Some days it takes up to four hours and when fund raising for our community Vehicle leaving home at 8.15am and arriving back at 6.30pm and counting the moneys with our Chairperson will take another two to three hours.

Four times a year, I travel all over Clare collecting our counter top boxes which bring in around €3,000 a year.

Add to that the accounts have to be done in twice a year which could take up to 20 hrs and last week I spend from 9pm to 6am working on the floods appeal in Clare sorting out claims for people in trouble.

What do you find rewarding/difficult about being a volunteer?

I find working for the people of Clare in fundraising for our goal of a community vehicle Ambulance/Mini Bus very rewarding.

Sometimes it’s difficult as I feel we are not seen enough if the community.

General: Is there a particular time/event that has been memorable for you?

Celebrating Gertie Glennon’s 40 years a volunteer in the Irish Red Cross – East Clare last November.

What does the local community think of the Irish Red Cross there?

Good because of the work done on the flood appeal, fundraising and duties.