The forgotten retirees

 

Sir, – Senator Sean Kyne deserves praise for raising in the Seanad on Monday last the plight of healthy retirees who are unable to play golf or engage in sea swimming if they have to travel more than five kilometres (“Fine Gael Senator calls for exemption to 5km travel limit for golfers and sea swimmers”, News, February 22nd).

The current all-consuming narrative concerning children and workers completely ignores the healthy retired, from the mid-fifties to seventies and beyond, and has done so since March 2020.

These are the people who do not have children at home, are no longer working and essentially are the nation’s volunteers, form the bulk of cultural audiences and keep the entire hospitality trade going out of season and mid-week.

This cohort has been left with nothing to do and nowhere to go, every day of the week. It is beyond ludicrous that these people can walk in a park with one other friend but cannot walk around a golf course with that same friend, or are prohibited from travelling to their nearest coast for a swim.

Golf and sea swimming are very low-risk activities, people travel in their own cars, and I cannot see how there can be any objection to them. The effect on the mental and physical health of this age group would be enormous. And this age group is very capable of adhering to all of the various measures required to stay safe.

I fear the Government has gone too far down the total lockdown route and is now unable to chart a more nuanced path without appearing to lose face.

It really need to listen again to the various contributions in Seanad Éireann last Monday. – Yours, etc,

JIM SMITH,

Kilincarrig,

Greystones,

Co Wicklow.