Irish drone operator helps the isolating elderly


"I thought I'd never see the day that that would happen, that I wouldn't have to be getting into my car and going into town to collect it. So, it's absolutely fantastic technology."

A package for 70-year-old Fidelma Gleeson, delivered by drone.

It contains bread, milk, and prescription medicines from a nearby pharmacy.


"It means an awful lot to me. I'm 70 years of age and I have to get a lot of medicines."

For drone company Manna Aera, this wasn’t the original plan.

It was scheduled to be dropping off its first food delivery orders around Dublin University Campus in March.

The new restrictions shut the country and its pilot programme down.

But within a week, the drone company was testing out an entirely different concept.

For now, Mana will continue to deliver on a non-commercial basis.

The company says its drones could cover 600 Irish towns by the end of the year if needed.

With one drone capable of making 100 9-pound deliveries a day, that could provide jobs for not only 450 licensed drone pilots in Ireland,

but also the large number of Ryanair and Aer Lingus pilots who may lose their jobs due to disruptions.