'We should be opening every place, bar Dublin and Cork': Kerry councillor calls for lockdown end

The severe lockdown in Kerry and other rural counties showing low infection levels and low fatality rates of Covid-19 should be lifted and rural areas should not have to wait for Dublin, says a Kerry councillor and former mayor of Killarney.
'We should be opening every place, bar Dublin and Cork': Kerry councillor calls for lockdown end
Cllr Donal Grady in Killarney in 2014. Picture: Eamonn Keogh (MacMonagle, Killarney)

The severe lockdown in Kerry and other rural counties showing low infection levels and low fatality rates of Covid-19 should be lifted and rural areas should not have to wait for Dublin, says a Kerry councillor and former mayor of Killarney.

Comparatively high levels are being recorded in Dublin and the Dublin region which is consistently reporting more than half the confirmed cases. However, Kerry should not have to wait for Dublin to lift restrictions, says Cllr Donal Grady (Ind) former mayor of Killarney.

On Wednesday, for the second day running, there was no increase in the number of confirmed cases in Kerry but there was a steep rise nationally, most of which was accounted for by Dublin. The numbers of known cases in Kerry remains at 268.

“We should be opening every place, bar Dublin and Cork. Leave Dublin on lockdown for the next two months if necessary, but there should be an ease in restrictions in Kerry and other counties with low levels,” Mr Grady said.

The national approach needs to "start thinking outside of Dublin”, he said. Mr Grady said he is approaching junior minister and Kerry TD Brendan Griffin to purse the matter.

Already there is “slippage” and people are going out and about more, into shops, and onto the streets in Kerry.

“There is a mental health price. For everyone’s sanity, all our sanity, these restrictions need to be lifted in areas with low levels,” Mr Grady said.

Meanwhile, the Independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae, said he wants construction to re-open along with hardware stores and garden centres in Kerry.

And he repeated his call for special arrangements for over 70s who he said are being put in fear if they go out: “Fine healthy lads, over 70, are being told they can’t go out at all."

Mr Healy-Rae said he has been contacted by one man aged 72 who is “fit and lively” and lives alone but who was given out to after going to his shop on a Sunday morning after a week indoors — and when he arrived there he was told he should not be in the shop at all.

“This is very unfair,” Mr Healy-Rae said.

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