Lockdowns and county borders

Sir, – The recent lockdown of Kildare, Laois and Offaly is based on county boundaries. The three meat plants affected by Covid-19 in Co Kildare are in Naas, Timahoe and Kildare town. Celbridge, where I live, is only two to three kilometres from the county boundary with Dublin.

Celbridge is 18.2 kilometres from the affected meat plant in Naas. Newcastle in Co Dublin is 14.6 kilometres from the affected meat plant in Naas, and Rathcoole in Co Dublin is 13.8 kilometres from the same meat plant. Celbridge is 21.6 kilometres from the meat plant in Timahoe. Enfield in Co Meath is 10.6 kilometres from the meat plant in Timahoe. Celbridge is in excess of 40 kilometres from the Kildare meat plant. It seems that the Government has imposed lockdown on Co Kildare in an arbitrary fashion, using county boundaries as an easy way to designate the area to be locked down. There is no necessary connection between being a resident of a certain county and contributing to the spread of Covid-19. Distance from a cluster of Covid-19 cases is of course a factor, as living in close proximity to a number of cases of Covid-19 increases one’s chances of coming into contact with the virus, thus becoming a carrier of the virus (and potentially damaging one’s own health, as well as that of others) and potentially contributing to wider spread of the virus. However, being a resident of a specific county does not mean that one is close to a case or cluster of cases, and thus it does not make one any more likely than someone in another county to come into contact with Covid-19 and proliferate its spread. Not only is the lockdown on the entire county arbitrary but it is also unfair.

By virtue of this connection between the likelihood of the spread of the virus being connected to one’s proximity to a case or cluster of cases, rather than one’s residency of a certain county, I call on the Government to review the lockdown on these three counties in a fair and equitable manner. – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.

Sir, – What is the difference between a construction site and a meat plant? The difference appears to be one gets shut down when even a single Covid-19 case is detected while the other shuts three counties instead. – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.