An Easter week in search of heroes

 

Sir, – The TV news showed Garda road checkpoints enforcing the travel regulations, ahead of the Easter weekend. Several of the gardaí shown were not wearing masks, and were bending down well within one metre of an open car window – speaking and breathing in on the occupants, hopefully not coughing. Where is the two-metre rule?

A member of the force is just as likely to be asymptomatically carrying the virus as anyone else, perhaps more likely, given that they are out and about on duty, and a garda would need to be constantly tested with rapid results to know otherwise.

At the very least masks and speaking from a two-metre distance should be a regulation for the regulators. Checkpoints or transmission points? – Yours, etc,

MARGARET WORRALL,

Sandycove, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Having stayed at home for a week and a half, on Thursday I drove the eight miles to my local town of Kenmare, Kerry, to run some messages (vet, creamery, supermarkets). I couldn’t believe how many “strangers” were in town despite our Government’s instructions not to travel to holiday homes this Easter weekend.

Especially in Kenmare’s three large supermarket car parks, I noticed numerous non-local cars and visitors. Clearly, they can’t have seen too many Garda checkpoints en route.

There were also Dutch- and German-registered cars, and I even met one French-registered camper van on the road. Who allowed those people enter this country, never mind onto the ferry?

I was in Kenmare for just under two hours on Thursday, and not one garda in sight. So much for our individual efforts to stay at home and do the right thing. – Yours, etc,

Mrs HEIKE O’SULLIVAN,

Co Kerry.

Sir, – Having effectively moved from a two-tier health system to a one-tier system it appears to me that our Government feels that a two-tier holiday system over the Easter weekend is perfectly fine.

My understanding is that those privileged few who own or have rented holiday homes and have beaten the deadline are free to enjoy the outdoors while potentially endangering native residents of very rural areas with restricted access to medical facilities.

It is very likely that many of those who travelled to holiday destinations did so in clear defiance of the rules in place for the past several days.

We should have one set of rules and they should apply to everyone irrespective of age, sex, financial status, etc. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL GREENE,

Spiddal, Co Galway.

Sir, – Given the concern over travellers from the North bringing Covid-19 to the beaches of Donegal, I propose the introduction of a hard border for the duration of the pandemic. With the precedent of Belfast’s “peace walls” in mind, the border could be designated the Fitness Frontier.

Thank goodness the A5 Western Transport Corridor was never built; an expressway from Dublin would be a certain conduit of contagion. – Yours, etc,

Dr JOHN DOHERTY

Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.

Sir, – The current situation calls for the Government to exercise clear and sound judgment. At the present it has almost total co-operation of the public but runs the risk of loss of that support if the application of the law is perceived to be overzealous.

In such a case the goodwill of the public could evaporate very quickly, especially if they believe that the oppression is worse than the disease. Indeed, the Government walks a very thin line. – Yours, etc.

TOM PARTRIDGE,

Tramore, Co Waterford.

Sir, – The implementation of Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, is to be welcomed. We have all been asked to restrict ourselves and to adhere to advice given by Government and public health officials. Unfortunately there are some who choose to ignore the advice and in so doing may endanger others by their actions.

At this time, the Garda needs the powers given, to curtail such behaviour. The emergency powers given are only for a defined period and will benefit all. In extraordinary times, extraordinary measures are needed – and welcome. – Yours, etc,

CONOR HOGARTY,

Blackrock, Co Dublin .

Sir, – At Easter 1916, our heroes made the ultimate sacrifice so future generations of Irish men and women could enjoy the prosperity and freedom we have today. Is it a lot to ask today’s generation during Easter 2020 to make some sacrifices, ie, self-distancing, isolating, cocooning and abiding by the two-kilometre travel restrictions, so that our frontline heroes of today can be allowed to manage the current pandemic?

The vast majority are doing so, but there is still a minority which thinks this does not apply to them. We must support our doctors, nurses, paramedics, gardaí and firemen in any way we can, to help them control this awful virus. – Yours, etc,

VINCENT CARROLL,

Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.

Sir, – Cars parked outside holiday homes should be clamped.

Reports on TV showing cars leaving Dublin mean that the lockdown could be extended by several weeks. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL BOYLE,

Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.

Sir, – Prof Aidan O’Sullivan’s suggestion that “nurses, doctors and others” who are risking their lives during this pandemic should receive an official Irish “Covid-19 emergency service medal” is an excellent one.

I believe others should be included – everyone who goes out their door each day or night to work to keep this country running. I really appreciate all of those workers and wonder would I be brave enough to go to my workplace each day knowing I was literally risking my life. – Yours, etc,

JOAN REIDY,

Malahide, Co Dublin.