Roscommon rallies as Covid-19 storm grows

Huge job losses

The current public health crisis caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus Covid-19 has led to the loss of thousands of jobs in County Roscommon, with numerous small businesses – including hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops – closing their doors.

Covid-19 has also led to the cancellation or curtailing of a number of popular annual events in County Roscommon.

The Roscommon Drama Festival committee decided to cancel the last three nights of the event in the interests of public safety (see pages 16 & 17) while the Roscommon Town Easter Parade has also been cancelled.

Darkness Into Light Walks nationwide are also off following social distancing guidelines issued by the HSE. All local sports clubs and gyms have also been forced to shut their doors for the foreseeable future.

The Roscommon Lamb Festival, due to take place from April 29th to May 4th this year, has also been cancelled.

Festival Chairperson Donal Mee said the decision was taken in the best interests of public health.

“Following a committee meeting we took the decision to postpone our festival due to the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is obviously disappointing for all who had planned to take part in or visit our festival. We will be looking at the possibility of rescheduling a shortened version later in the year, all going well. Failing that we will be planning as usual for 2021.

“We take this opportunity to thank all our funders and sponsors and hope that they will be back on board when things get back to normal.

“Meanwhile, all we can do is heed the advice of the experts to help minimise the impact of the virus to our families and friends. Stay safe,” he said.

The launch of the new South Roscommon Family Resource Centre which was due to take place at the end of March has also been delayed.

Meanwhile, businesses, GAA clubs, sports clubs and volunteers have taken to social media to offer their assistance to those most vulnerable to the Covid-19 outbreak.

A number of local shops including Duffy’s SuperValu in Ballaghaderreen will open from 8 am to 11 am each morning for older customers with hand sanitiser and gloves also available.

O’Roarke’s Bar in Creggs have also taken to social media with an offer to deliver shopping to those in self-isolation while a number of shops are offering free tea and coffee to medical workers.

Casey’s Londis in Roscommon town has also seen an increase in the number of people utilising drive-through and call and collect services while Supermac’s is offering free meals to those working in the emergency services.

A number of GAA clubs have also offered to run errands, deliver supplies and check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.