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Catherine Murphy TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats, has called on the Taoiseach and appropriate ministers to come to Kildare to see first-hand the impact of the lockdown extension on local residents and businesses.

Deputy Murphy said:

“This decision will be greeted with understandable fury in Kildare and the Government needs to provide a comprehensive explanation as to why the entire county is being locked down when more targeted restrictions could possibly have been considered.

“The Taoiseach and some of his Cabinet colleagues need to come to Kildare to hear the concerns of those most affected by the lockdown extension so they can fully comprehend the devastating impact it will have on the local economy and the daily lives of residents. He could also use the opportunity to provide full details of the further financial supports that will be available to help businesses deal with this latest setback and find out if they will be enough to ensure their survival.

“Business owners, who were already struggling to recover from the last lockdown, are utterly dejected and at a loss to understand why they are being instructed to close when meat plants are allowed to reopen after being found to be Covid-19 free.

“In my own constituency, we have towns like Celbridge, Leixlip and Kilcock that are a considerable distance from reported clusters, yet they are subject to the blunt instrument of county-wide restrictions as the areas where there are high infection rates.

“We also have a situation where many people in Kildare are driving to Dublin for work and back home again so it is hard to see the logic behind the Government’s restrictions.

“Residents and businesses need to see a full breakdown of where the outbreaks are occurring to better understand the scientific rationale behind shutting down an entire county.

“Despite assurances that schools in Kildare are set to reopen at the same time as the rest of the country, parents will be looking for clarity on how this can be done safely in the context of the lockdown extension.”

August 21, 2020

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