Council chair: Offaly lockdown 'a devastating blow'

The Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council has questioned the logic of closing the entire county.

Cllr John Carroll said that the people of Offaly were dealt "a devastating blow" when the Government reimposed a lockdown on Offaly, as well as Laois and Kildare.

He said the public had concerns about how outbreaks in meat facilities have been dealt with.

"They definitely don’t believe the proper response is to close down counties when closing the affected plants and introducing intensive testing in 10/15 km radius of the premises could be adequate."

He added: "At this point in time we know Birr has had a total of 19 confirmed cases since the start of Covid with Ferbane having five and Banagher eight with those numbers how can the powers that be justify closing down all the business in those communities?

"I do not have a problem with lockdown per se for the welfare of people but it must be reasonable must be rational."

"What is happening here is a death knell to many businesses that we had just supported to open and who were operating at a loss hoping things would improve and realising the need for towns and villages to be operational and bring hope back to communities."

He said the people of Offaly no had now choice but to work within the constraints imposed.

Stating that there had been no consultation locally on the decisions, he is considering calling an emergency meeting of Offaly County Council to give local public representatives the opportunity to respond on behalf of the county.

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