Inishowen and County Donegal have been living with the
Covid-19 pandemic for the past six months. We have all
dealt with the severe restrictions of the earlier
'lockdown' measures that seen our lives, society and the
wider economy almost brought to a standstill.
It was those severe measures, done in the interest of
public health and keeping people safe, that guided our
region through the first peak of Covid and kept the
spread of the virus to a minimum. We have had several
weeks of low transmission and our economy has re-opened
across most sectors.
The past month has been very busy with visitors to the
peninsula and there is a sense of some return to
normality. It is well acknowledged that people are tired
of living with such restrictions and they can only take
so much. The huge compliance by most people has been
acknowledged and much appreciated.
Three public sector bodies, An Gardaí, HSE and Donegal
County Council, have been working together throughout
this pandemic response. They meet regularly and
co-ordinate actions in response to the current and
At this time the group would like to raise awareness of
the need to re-double efforts by each person in our
community to help protect and maintain the gains that we
have made fighting the virus. We have come a long way
together and we now need to try and avoid any sense of
complacency as we potentially face a second wave of
infection in the region. This is really important to
avoid our health systems becoming over-whelmed.
Each adult must take personal responsibility for
themselves and the people around them.
Businesses have been struggling through this period.
Many have obtained government supports and have
re-opened in a very trying economic climate.
All businesses are required to follow the public health
advice and implement the measures to keep their
employees and customers safe. Most businesses have made
investments and sacrifices to meet the public health
requirements and they are to be thanked for that.
However, it is disappointing that some businesses have
not taken appropriate measures and have put their
employees and customers at risk. There have been cases
where this has led to Covid outbreaks and these
businesses have had to be shut down. They have put
people in danger directly and have also put the wider
economy at risk of a regional lockdown. The
irresponsible actions of a few can affect many.
Customers should expect to see proper measures in place
and should not accept anything less. They should only
frequent places where measures are in place and they
themselves feel comfortable and safe.
There has been an increase in house parties and in
specific cases this has led to significant out-breaks in
the northwest region. This is putting society and the
economy at risk of a further lockdown. The public health
guidance on gatherings is there for a reason – to keep
us all safe. It must be followed.
The enforcement bodies are very active visiting premises
and locations and will take all appropriate actions up
to and including prosecution if warranted. However,
enforcement will only bring results in a limited way and
fighting Covid-19 requires a 'whole of society'
response. We appeal to everyone to follow the public
health advice, implement the
Public Health Measures ,
take personal responsibility and help keep everyone
Lastly, we remember all those who have died from Covid,
many of whom were not in a position to fight it
themselves and depended on the wider community around
them. It is against this backdrop that we ask everyone
to do what they can.