Reopening Roscommon!

Religious and personal services, adult sport, and inter-county travel to resume from next Monday…

Businesses and services in County Roscommon are preparing to reopen ahead of next Monday’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Inter-county travel will resume while outdoor retail and ‘click and collect’ will be permitted along with personal services such as hairdressing and barbers, and attractions like galleries, museums, and libraries will also reopen.

In-person religious services will also return and outdoor sports training for adults can take place in pods of no more than 15 people.

  Roscommon Parish Priest, Fr. Kevin Fallon, said he was glad to be welcoming parishioners back from next Monday.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I’d like to say a huge thank you to people for their support and patience in recent months. It has been a very difficult period for people who have had funerals as well as month’s mind and anniversary masses.

“We’ve all experienced loss at one point or another but it has been much harder on those who have had to go through the experience during this pandemic. Parishioners have also been very patient when it comes to baptisms and weddings and other traditionally big events so a huge thank you to everyone,” he said.

Fr. Kevin was also grateful for the continued encouragement and financial support afforded the Sacred Heart Church by local parishioners, and said the absence of in-person services in recent times would perhaps make a return to church even more meaningful.

“I suppose one good thing to come out of the closure of churches is that it’s now a conscious decision to return to mass and people are more mindful of services taking place,” he said.

The reopening of churches ahead of Christmas 2020 was widely welcomed across the county and led to the establishment of a ticketing service for services. Fr. Kevin said numbers will also need to be restricted this time around.

“Because we are such a large parish here in Roscommon we will unfortunately still have to restrict numbers at the weekends, but we are grateful for what we have.

“Hopefully, with the continued roll-out of vaccines we will have full churches again before too long,” he said.

Local barber, Martin Egan of Roadside Barbers in Roscommon town, hopes it’s the start of a wider reopening.

“We’re delighted to be able to reopen our doors again. It has been a long year and hopefully this means that over the next few week’s everyone else’s doors will be back open too,” he said.

  Martin assured customers that his business would continue to adhere to strict Covid-19 measures similar to when it was last open in December of last year.

“We will be working on an appointment basis and customers can book in by calling 086-4479359 or by using the booking system on the Roadside Barbers Facebook page. It’ll be great to be back and to see everyone again,” he said.

The county’s libraries will also resume lending from next Tuesday (11th) and Roscommon County Librarian, Sandra Turner, detailed some of the services that will be on offer.

“Roscommon, Boyle and Castlerea Libraries will reopen on Tuesday next to allow people to browse the collection, borrow items and to return any items they have on loan.

“The library service will also continue to offer a full range of online resources and online events will continue including the new Sense-Ability Webinar Series which starts at 7.30 pm on Tuesday and runs for six weeks,” she said.

The reservation system, where users can request items from any library in the country, will resume from Monday, May 17th.

For now, study spaces, computers, and printers will not be available to users and social distancing measures remain in place.

“People are asked to wear a face covering, use hand sanitiser, practice social distancing and to follow staff advice,” Sandra said.

“They are also asked not to attend the library if they or anyone is their household has symptoms of Covid-19.

“The library service will continue its Age Friendly Digital Ambassador training, where library staff act as online tutors for people who need help in accessing online library services”.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Roscommon branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, Larry Brennan, has said he hopes to see pubs and indoor dining return by late July.

“There is still no word yet (on a possible reopening date) but we would hope to be able to return by the end of July. It will probably be dependent on the hospital figures and particularly the number of patients in ICU,” he said.

Mr. Brennan, who runs Down The Hatch in Roscommon town, said he welcomed the planned reopening of outdoor dining facilities on June 7th.

“It’ll certainly be a big help to those venues who have outdoor facilities and we see it as the start of a wider reopening. The rest of us are happy to wait just as long as we are not left in the lurch,” he said.


Reopening from next Monday (10th)…

Travel: Inter-county travel will resume.

Gatherings: Three households or six people will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens. This limit of six does not include children aged 12 or younger.

Organised gatherings: Outdoor gatherings can take place with a maximum of 15 people.

Sports: Outdoor training for adults can take place in pods of no more than 15 people.

Personal services: Personal services such as hairdressers can reopen by appointment.

Retail: Non-essential retail click-and-collect services can resume, along with outdoor retail. In store retail by appointment only.

Attractions: Galleries, museums, other cultural attractions, and libraries (lending services only, with no access to reader spaces or computers) can reopen.

Religious services: In-person religious services can resume, although no communions or confirmations should take place. 

Weddings: 50 guests can attend a civil or religious service, while six guests can attend an indoor reception and 15 can attend an outdoor reception.

Funerals: 50 mourners can attend a funeral service, with no related events taking place before or after.

Public transport: Capacity will increase to 50 percent of normal.

Vaccine bonus: Fully vaccinated people can meet indoors without masks or social distancing with up to three other fully vaccinated households, or with unvaccinated people from a single household who are not at risk of severe illness.

From May 17th: All remaining retail can reopen.