Local examples of why we are in Level 3
The Level 3 lockdown has overtaken the weather as the most talked about subject in Ireland this week. As the blame game continues and we question the behaviour of a few, below we list a number of ‘local’ examples of why we have got to this stage in the first place:
* At a recent funeral in Boyle, people in the car park were observed making every effort to get up close to the family of the deceased, waiting on the opportunity to make eye contact so they could shake their hands. In addition, there was a scramble to be among the numbers to get into the Church for the service. Why not sign the book or give your condolences online and show your sympathy that way?
* During the weekend, while passing through a neighboring town late in the evening, a group were seen heading to an establishment with their birthday balloons held high and looking like they were not on their way for their first drink. Why hold a birthday party in the middle of a pandemic, especially after all the consequences of another birthday party locally?
* We all have seen the large crowds that have attended football matches and the celebratory hugs and handshakes after. We are all fully aware of the after match celebrations and the drowning of the sorrows in public houses. Why were these situations allowed to happen?
* An organiser of a gathering here in Boyle, that was socially distant and adhering to all the rules, told of their need to call back about 80% of those entering the venue to sanatise their hands, despite signs at the entrance and large on wall dispensers visible. If people are not sanatising their hands entering an establishment what hope have we of controlling this virus?
* During our initial lockdown, the house parties continued here in Boyle and all over the country with those who organised and those who attended, in effect, putting the two fingers up at the frontline workers and the people who were adhering to the rules. The house parties were still being held last weekend and will most likely go ahead this weekend. Will you be stupid enough to host one or attend one over the next 3 weeks?
The above are just a few examples, along with greed, basic common sense, lack of respect and selfishness that have led to us entering Level 3. If we do not make an effort to limit our social contacts, wear our mask, wash our hands regularly, stay within our county boundary and adhere to all the current restrictions to flatten this curve, we will most definitely be entering level 4 or 5 on October 27th if not sooner.
Boyle pick up point for anti mask protest march
There has been some concern locally at Boyle being included as a ‘collection point’ for a bus travelling to a protest march in Dublin last Saturday. Advertised as a “Covid Free St Patrick’s Day Parade”, the march was organised by an group called “Health Freedom Ireland’ and supported by Yellow Vest Ireland. In reality the ‘parade’ was an anti mask protest. While it is accepted that everyone has a right to protest, the concern has arisen that, when Dublin was in level 3 lockdown, a number of people from Boyle thought it acceptable to head to the capital on a bus that was advertised as ‘a private bus with 50 seats with no compulsory masks”. Many would feel this is totally unacceptable. The said protest was attended by ‘hundreds of people’ who according to an RTE report “Marched across the city centre to Grafton Street, where they staged a sit down protest and chanted “no more lockdown” and “no more masks”. “Some of the protesters chanted “take off your masks” as they marched up Grafton Street past shoppers and other pedestrians”. See the report here.
The bus trip received some angry comments from listners on Ocean FM’s North West Today show last Monday morning.
The need to ‘keep it local’ during Level 3
There are a number of differences between the current restrictions and the initial lockdown at the start of the year. One difference is the ability to travel within one’s county and here in Boyle we are blessed to have beautiful areas on our doorstep in which to travel and exercise – especially to have Lough Key Forest Park right here in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. It will be interesting to see if the Park is frequented only by those from County Roscommon during this lockdown or will people from neighbouring counties travel there as they did previously. Another aspect of this lockdown that we should encompass is the need to stay local and therefore shop local. If the people of Boyle and surrounding areas (within the county) shopped predominantly in Boyle for the next three weeks, not just for groceries but all other necessities and dare we say it – Christmas gifts, just think of the boost that would give our local economy.
Boyle is NOT a Covid ‘hot spot’
The inclusion of Boyle as a ‘hot spot’ for Covid-19 in this morning’s Irish Times is damaging for the town and factually incorrect ( see article here). Boyle, per se, is not a ‘hot spot’. The Boyle Local Electoral Area is and that large area spreads from Lough Allen to Strokestown and Ballaghderreen across to Tarmonbarry with a population of 21,831. Boyle is only a small town from which the LEA gets it’s name and as we all know, the main clusters of Covid are not in Boyle but in other areas of the LEA. (This morning we have posted the fact that Boyle is not a Covid hotspot on the Irish Times Facebook page)
Farewell to a great local character
The sudden death took place on Monday last of one of the great local characters of the area – Tom Regan. The name Tom Regan may mean nothing to many of you but when we published his photograph on our Facebook feed on Wednesday evening (courtesy of Tony Murphy Photography), straight away he became known to the many people whom he endeared himself to. Tom was a ‘regular’ on the Boyle to Gurteen road, in his oversized fluorescent yellow jacket, that had seen better days. With a slight stoop and a cigarette in his hand, Tom had a face that told a million stories and was a frequent visitor to Boyle where he enjoyed a few pints in the various local licensed premises and a chat with anyone who took the time to greet him. Described as ‘a great character’ and ‘one of life’s gentlemen’ by those who knew him, Tom was origionally from Shraugh, Cloonloo but lived in Shannon Drive, Gurteen where he died suddenly last Monday. Tom Regan is survived by his brothers Christy, Pat and Willie and he was laid to rest in Knockbrack cemetery yesterday (Thursday) morning.
Majority in favour of Town Centre Enhancement plan
The weekly poll here on the homepage of Boyletoday.com asks the question “Do you think the planned Town Centre Enhancement project will benefit Boyle”. The response to date has been a resounding ‘yes’ with 73% saying they think it will benefit Boyle while 27% think it will not. The plans for the multi million euro enhancement project are currently on display at Boyle Council Offices and online.
TII counters show traffic decreasing on N4
One of the key indicator to see if travel restrictions are being adhered to is the Traffic Infrastructure Ireland Traffic Counter data. The most locally relevant statistical point for this area is on the N4 at Usna between Boyle and Carrick on Shannon. Yesterday (Thursday) the 24 hour traffic volume on this stretch of road was 6197 vehicles. By comparison, seven days previously, on Thursday October 1st, 7433 vehicles past this spot. The figures for Tuesday last, the day before restrictions, was 7395 and on Wednesday – the day restrictions were imposed – 5822 – a drop of 1573 vehicles.
Wise words of the week
We have said it before here in the Boyle’d Pot and we will say it again – We are so lucky to have a facility like the Family Resource Centre right here on our doorstep in Boyle. The people who work in the Centre have really shone during the current pandemic and their Facebook posts and wise words are a daily inspiration for many. Below are some of those wise words that they published in a post this week:
- Respect the restrictions.
- Say no to invitations if not within the guidelines.
- Leave a situation if it’s not safe.
- Mind yourself & others.
- People spread COVID.
- Stay in your county unless essential to leave.
- Support your local businesses.
- Wear your mask
- Wash your hands.
- Be kind.
- Think of others.
We have been give a chance, a reprieve to try and get control of COVID.
None of us know how we will suffer if we were to get COVID.
It’s a chance none of us should be taking.
“The spirit of community, of caring for others, lies at the heart of what’s best in the Irish character. Now, as much as ever before, we have to recommit ourselves to this spirit. Ní neart go cur le chéile.” Taoiseach M Martin.
Most important is that we all stay safe, stay physically distanced, socially connected and be kind.
Angus Mc Tavish phones the dental surgery. ‘Can ye tell me how much forrr an extraction.’
‘The standard charge is £65.00, sir’
‘Och, that’s a wee expensive, lassie.’
‘Well, it’s for the anaesthetic and the wages of the dentist and the dental nurse.’
‘Och, what aboot if we don’t bother with the anaesthetic’?
‘That’s very unusual but if you’re sure, we can reduce the price to £50.00.’
‘Weeeeel, that’s still beyond ma budget, what aboot if one of your trainee dentists performed the extraction by himself?’
‘We could, but as he’s not very experienced so the extraction could be very messy and painful.’
‘Niver mind that, what would it cost in total?’
‘That would be £20.00.’
‘Hmmm, £20.00, you say. And when would yon student be available?’
‘He won’t be in until the college half-term break, which will be next month. How about the 22nd?”
‘Aye, that’ll do.’
‘And what name is it?’
‘Mrs Fiona Mc Tavish.’