Aoibheann Bolger and Ruairi Saul managed to bring some colour to Kilkenny’s quiet streets for St Patrick’s Day. The city was one of many venues which didn’t have a parade this year
As people faced into a global pandemic and the fear of the unknown was omnipresent community leaders in Kilkenny came out in force to ask people to follow public health advice.
We must be united, look out for one another, and we absolutely must heed the advice of experts now and in the coming weeks and months.
So said community leaders, including senior hurling manager Brian Cody, Bishop of Ossory Dermot Farrell, the Mayor of Kilkenny and council chairman. Medical staff and the most vulnerable in society are counting on us all to do our part, they said. Many took up the baton, volunteering to deliver meals to people or help out in some other way.
“The thing to do is to listen to the doctors, the HSE, and the experts — with the public working together and looking out for the most vulnerable,” said Mr Cody as Kilkenny came to grips with life in lockdown.
“We will get back to what we have always done. In the meantime, we need to adapt to this situation. We need to fill our days with something - there is not a huge amount anyone can do, but keep in contact with each other. We use technology so much when things are normal; we can use it now in a meaningful way.
“None of us have all the answers: the GPs and the doctors have some, and they are putting themselves out there and going the extra mile. The way we can help is to listen to them. Doctors, nurses, and so many people in the firing line are just seeing it as doing their duty, and we can help them by doing the right thing.”
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere says the pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge to the people of Kilkenny and Ireland — but one that ‘we are equal to’.
As Kilkenny and most of the rest of the world entered into lockdown life continued albeit in a changed way.
Gardaí reported a drop in crime with a reduction in property crime in Kilkenny down 50% over the past five years.
Superintendent Derek Hughes told the Joint Policing Committee meeting that a new programme targeting prolific offenders was helping to reduce crime in the city and county.
“This programme involves high visibility police checkpoints and gardaí on the beat along with offender monitoring and curfew checks,” he said.
Meanwhile in North Kilkenny it was reported that wild deer have been the cause of five separate accidents over a three-week period. Concerned councillor, Michael McCarthy is warning motorists to be vigilant when travelling at Kilrush, which is on the main Freshford to Urlingford road.
In health-related matters it was reported that progress has been made at the Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny, however four high-risk ratings were identified during a recent inspection by the Mental Health Commission. However the report saw in ‘significant improvement’.
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