A local economy in lockdown

Quite apart from the challenge to public health, the Covid-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic impact on the local economy in Roscommon. The cancellation of all the high profile events that usually take place around this time of year, coupled with the closure of hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and tourist attractions, has drained the local economy of countless millions of euro.

The cancellation of Roscommon Agricultural Show, which was due to take place in mid-August, has been confirmed (see page 5). It follows the cancellation of all St. Patrick’s Day parades in the county, the Easter Parades in Roscommon and Strokestown, the Roscommon Lamb Festival, Boyle Arts Festival, all GAA matches and numerous other events.

Meanwhile, the tourism and food and drinks sector is still reeling from the devastating revenue losses of recent weeks and the uncertainty as to how and when recovery can begin.

Roscommon Racecourse Manager Michael Finneran told the Roscommon People that the first meeting of the season, scheduled for May 11th, is “very unlikely” to take place. When racing does resume, it will be behind closed doors for at least a month.

Speaking to the People on Wednesday, Deputy Denis Naughten said that when he met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earlier that day, he had called for the easing of restrictions in counties which have lower incidence of Covid-19 than others.

As of midnight on April 26th, there were 141 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in County Roscommon.