Limerick councillors meet to discuss plans for ‘future Covid-19 reality’

Limerick councillors meet to discuss plans for ‘future Covid-19 reality’

Fine Gael councillors Dan McSweeney and Sarah Kiely delivering meals on wheels during this crisis

LIMERICK’s Fine Gael councillors in the metropolitan district have held talks with local authority management over the “future reality” of social distancing.

Although restrictions are in place until May 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic, group leader councillor Daniel Butler said it’s likely restrictions will remain in place “for the long term”.

Cllr Butler and his party colleagues, Mayor Michael Sheahan and Cllrs Olivia O’Sullivan, Sarah Kiely, Dan McSweeney and Michael Murphy have held teleconferences among themselves to discuss the matter. And Cllr Butler has also spoken with council officials by telephone.

The ultimate aim of the meetings, he said, is to work towards a reality where physical distancing is part of the everyday until a vaccine is developed for the deadly condition.

“We have secured the agreement of council management to start to build into their future plans around Covid19 of how physical distancing can be supported for pedestrians and where necessary cycling. This will also be needed to support business to be able to open up and operate again when that is permitted,” Cllr Butler said.

“We as a group have been continuing to meet virtually and speak on the phone to address immediate issues and now plan towards a new reality,” said Cllr Butler, “We have been working through various issues that are urgent and that are ongoing with people seeking supports due to financial issues, family and personal matters and much more. These have been our priority as we continue to support those most vulnerable and in the most need.”

He pointed out that Cllrs Kiely and McSweeney have along with cross-party councillors been delivering meals on wheels with the St Munchin’s Community Enterprise Centre.

“The mayor has been very busy working in the background especially supporting the great work of the Community Response Team and innovatively engaging with people young and old,” he added.

The City West councillor urged the public to focus on the government guidelines which encourage people to remain at home, not to travel beyond a two kilometre radius of home, and only leave for essential journeys and one iece of exercise dailyl.

“The  council needs to be supported to focus on the delivery of essential services right now and into the future but we feel planning now needs to start on how we support physical distancing but we realise this will taking a lot of planning especially in terms of safety. As pinch points emerge in relation to physical distancing we need to be ready to respond because they will arise in another month or so,” he added.

The Fine Gael group in the metropolitan district paid tribute to Limerick City and County Council for its response to the crisis and maintenance of sevices in difficult circumstances.

“We in particular want to express our absolute gratitude to all our frontline staff protecting our respective constituents. It has been incredible to join with them for Shine Your Light in expressing that as a community. We finally want to pay tribute to the Limerick public for their strong compliance with the government guidelines that is saving the lives of our family, friends and neighbours in Limerick. We once again have proven our strength as a united community when facing adversity with absolute resilience and most importantly support for one another,” Cllr Butler concluded.

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