An Easter Message from The HSE, An Garda Síochána and Local Authorities

The Front Row: At the Mick Galwey Roundabout on the Castleisland Bypass earlier today were, from left: Garda Gerry Rael, Garda Ronan Coleman and Sgt. John English. They encountered ‘an incredible amount of tourism traffic’ into the county with every possible excuse for travelling. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Just as news of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s announcement extending the period of restrictions of movement to contain the spread of Covid-19 to Tuesday, May 5th, an Easter message arrives from the statutory agencies in the Cork and Kerry regions.

Message of Thanks

The Easter message is one of thanks to the people for their work on stopping the spread of Covid-19 as the counties enter a crucial phase in the fight against the virus.

“As we enter the Easter long weekend, representatives of the HSE, an Garda Siochana, Kerry County Council, Cork County Council, Cork City Council have appealed to everyone in the counties to continue their Trojan efforts.

All the agencies have been working together to co-ordinate the community response to the crisis, and this weekend praised the people of Cork and Kerry for everything they have done so far.

Current Effort Will Save Lives

Ger Reaney, the Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said that the collective efforts of communities across Cork and Kerry are clearly making a difference, but added that it is crucial that everyone keeps up those efforts over the bank holiday weekend.

“Your efforts now will save lives and will help to reduce the pressure on the health system at a time when it faces an unprecedented challenge. We understand that Easter is usually a time when families and friends come together, and it’s going to be particularly hard this weekend to stay apart.

Clearly Helping

The message is clear – the effort everybody is making is helping to keep our communities, especially vulnerable people and healthcare workers safe, and although we know that it’s difficult we need to keep that effort going for another while ,” he said.

Representatives of an Garda Siochána warned that there will be a very visible Garda presence across the counties in the next few days, making sure that no one is travelling more than 2kms from home without a valid reason.

Operation Fanacht

Speaking in Cork, Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn said that Operation Fanacht will see an extensive network of checkpoints established in Kerry and Cork and across the country to ensure public compliance with the travel restrictions introduced recently as part of COVID-19 public health guidelines.

The Operation will run until Monday night, April 13.

This significant policing operation is designed to support travel restrictions put in place to help flatten the curve and save lives.

Good Compliance Levels

There has been very good compliance with the travel restrictions and we want to thank the public for this. However, it is vital that this continues over the coming days and over the weekend. This will save lives.
“In particular, we would ask people who are thinking of travelling to parks, tourist locations or holiday homes outside of the 2km limit, not to do so. If you are stopped at a checkpoint, you will be turned back,” said Mr. Finn.

Kerry Community Response Helpline

Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell reminded the public the Kerry Community Response Helpline would continue to be available to people over the Easter Weekend.

“Kerry County Council is reiterating its appeal to the people of Kerry to stay at home and to save lives. We never thought we would have to close public buildings, close beach car parks, ask people not to visit Kerry and appeal to people not to visit playgrounds and other amenities “

“I am asking everyone not to be tempted to breach the guidelines and the travel restrictions over the weekend. Everyone has a critical part to play in this crucial phase of the battle against this virus,” she said.

Helpline Numbers

One of the results of the co-operation between the agencies is the Community Coordination helplines which are now in operation across the region. These helplines involve many community organisations and volunteers, and can assist people who need additional support to adhere to the cocooning guidelines.

TheHelplines for this Region are:

Kerry County: 1800 807 009 Text ‘support’ & name to 50555

Cork City: 1800 222 226

Cork County: 1800 805 819 085 870 9010

Simple But Effective Steps

Finally, all agencies reminded the people of Kerry and Cork of the simple but very effective steps we all must take each and every day.They include:

Staying at home as much as possible, and only leaving when essential.

Remaining within 2kms of your home for your daily exercise.

Washing your hands properly and often.

Reducing the number of people you met and interact with each day.

If you do need to leave your home, keeping at least two metres away from other people.

Catching your coughs and sneezes

Regularly cleaning surfaces.

See An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s announcement of the extension of the restrictions from the RTÉ News website with a click on the link here: