The photo and banner are from Southwold in Britain but the sentiments match what many in rural Ireland are feeling as reports began to emerge of people flouting coronavirus restrictions to travel to holiday homes in Clare, Donegal, Wexford and other locations.
Aoife Ní Shuilleabháín, in West Kerry, pointed out the obvious.
Some 21% of houses on the dingle peninsula are classed as holiday homes, in some villages it’s as high as 38%. If these start to fill that’s a serious increase in the population. The strain on services and extra traffic in the area brings extra risk to the vulnerable community.
If you are thinking of traveling to a holiday home in dingle during this crisis there are things you need to consider. The majority of our population is in the older bracket. Meaning around this area there are a lot of people at risk. The nearest hospital is an hour’s drive.
If people start to get sick it will decimate this place. We don’t have the resources to deal with this if it takes a hold here. You could be putting others and your own family at risk. You can understand why people are worried. You can understand why they might ask you to please stay at home until we are on the better side of this crisis. Just consider this before you pack the car to head to your holiday home.
Some 21% of houses on the dingle peninsula are classed as holiday homes, in some villages it’s as high as 38%
If these start to fill that’s a serious increase in the population.
The strain on services and extra traffic in the area brings extra risk to the vulnerable community.
— Aoife Ní Shúilleabháin (@Aoifva) April 8, 2020
Despite the Garda checkpoints, plenty of people seem to have got through to places like Wexford.
— Pádraig Ó hEacháin (@HeachainO) April 9, 2020
Many cars seem to have travelled at night or just before the clampdown started.
Independent Councillor for Bantry, Danny Collins, told the Irish Examiner yesterday that he had seen ‘a recent influx of cars from outside the county’ mostly from the North or Dublin. “I see them increasing as I do my deliveries for people who are cocooning,” he said. “They have started appearing in villages and townlands around Bantry.”
Achill island asked people to resist the urge to travel. “Like many rural areas, Achill has an aging and vulnerable population. We’re asking people to resist the urge to visit the island. Please heed the advice from public health officials and the Gardaí,” the community tweeted.
Like many rural areas, Achill has an aging and vulnerable population. We're asking people to resist the urge to visit the island. Please heed the advice from public health officials and the Gardaí.
— Tommy English (@T0mmyEnglish) April 7, 2020
Others were a little more direct.
If you own a holiday home in lovely Wexford and fancy a little respite in the sunny south east this Easter weekend, the county has an official message for you…
Stay at home and don’t come near us you selfish gobshite.
— Shane O Leary (@shaneoleary1) April 7, 2020
There were some solid ideas to deter the selfish.
Everyone who tried to relocate to Donegal for Easter should have their holiday home confiscated and redistributed to a nurse.
— Declan Lawn (@DecLawn) April 8, 2020
And some humour too
— Declan Heffernan (@DECLANHEFF) April 8, 2020
An Garda Síochana say Operation Fanacht is now in effect until Monday and that anyone travelling more than 2km from their home will be turned back.