The attorney general of the Navajo nation, Doreen McPaul has described the generosity of Irish people as “amazing” following numerous donations to a fund set up to support her community which has been devastated by Covid-19.
Ms McPaul, who has Irish grandfathers, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that it was “just really heart-warming” when she learned of the many donations from Irish people.
“It made me want to follow up more.”
Both of her paternal grandfathers were Irish and her father has dual citizenship, she said.
Ms McPaul has visited Ireland twice as her sister lived in Ireland while she studied international human rights.
Her sister subsequently married an Irish man, from Newmarket-on-Fergus in Co Clare and they visit Ireland every summer along with her parents.
The funds raised will be used to help members of the Navajo nation which is spread across three states – Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
To date 132 people have died from the pandemic.
Communities have found coping with the virus “problematic” because of the infrastructure with many living in remote areas.
It was also difficult to separate an ill person from the remainder of the family as they live in multi generational households and it was not part of the Navajo culture not to care for someone.
There were also challenges with a lack of water and access to disinfectant.
Ms McPaul said she first became aware of the generosity of the Irish when the treasurer of the fund shared with her some of the comments of Irish donors.
She had already been aware of the Choctaw story and of the sculpture in Ireland.
“It is beyond amazing, the outpouring of support from Ireland is amazing.”