Buckley on familiar, tortured ground

Many of his age might be thinking of retirement, Buckley, hale and hearty, got on a plane to go to the center of a maelstrom: Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He spoke by satellite phone on a crackly line with the Echo.

"I walked out into the dark this morning at 5 a.m. and the whole city looked like a horrendous deck of cards that had crumbled with the odd chair sticking out or a crumpled car," said Buckley. And bodies, there were bodies everywhere."

As to the reports of violence, Buckley reported that many of the millions of Haitians injured and dazed were being "very, very patient, but they won't be for much longer.

"The distribution of food and drink is too slow, and whatever violence there is being done out of desperation - understandable human desperation to save their children. It is important to say that all the Haven team are safe and well and are not feeling threatened," he said.

Buckley's fellow board member at Digicel mobile, billionaire Denis O'Brien, also visited Haiti this week. O'Brien loaned his plane to the Irish charity Concern, and loaded it with relief supplies and personnel.

O'Brien will be meeting in Miami this week with U.S. officials and former President Bill Clinton, the UN envoy to Haiti, on how to approach the massive rebuilding efforts. Digicel is the largest provider of mobile phone service to Haiti, and the company is offering free limited service to survivors in that country.

Buckley noted that the Haven Partnership is working in the north of the country, where the earthquake did not do as much damage. The permanent homes that Haven erected last year still stand.

As some of Port-au-Prince's survivors migrate to the north away from the center of the devastation, Haven is already working with the UN to erect camps and more permanent shelter for the many desperate to restart their lives.

Haven, prior to the earthquake, was readying for another building week in Haiti with more that 200 Irish volunteers building permanent homes in April. Haven is also continuing with the effort of generating urgently needed supplies, such as blankets, plastic sheeting, tarpaulins, and small generators in conjunction with Irish aid agency GOAL.

Donations and calls of support continue to flood into the Haven office in Dublin. Some

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