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Mixed reaction in Carlow and Kilkenny to what’s expected to be outlined this evening in terms of restriction easing

We've been hearing from leaders in local business and religious sectors

As we await the big speech on the easing of restrictions, many locally have been reacting to what we’ve heard so far.

An announcement’s due later this evening after Cabinet meets to discuss recommendations but dates have been listed for a range of reopenings. (More on that here).

Stay tuned to KCLR for updates across the day, but here’s some of the reaction so far:

Business

Brian O’Farrell is CEO of Carlow Chamber and he’s been telling KCLR News “We’ve got businesses right across the county, right across the country, they have worked hard to put a safe environment in place for a long time and they just want to get the doors back open and continue to service their customers and their communities and now we have a roadmap to do that because it’s key to ensuring that the doors are open because they’ve got a lot of preparation to do and need to when and how they can open their doors”.

He also says “I need to go through the details of it a bit more, I think there’s a little bit more clarity needed in some areas but it is good that they’ve applied dates and that to it, we have an understanding of when the different elements are going to open, I suppose what we need to understand a bit more then, I know it’s outside of our control, it’s in relation to vaccine rollout whether that’ll further impact the usage of shared spaces in public and in centres and that as well”.

And Mr O’Farrell adds “The staff recruitment needs to happen, there’s new training needs to happen, you’ve got to remember a lot of these businesses that closed for an extensive period of time in a lot of cases staff might have gone and found alternative jobs, there’s a lot of our premises like cafes and restaurants that are looking at retro-fitting to try accommodate better outdoor facilities, it’s to allow them have that done and ready to reopen it’s great to have a bit more clarity”.

Religion

Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Denis Nulty, is also the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Ossory. He’s been telling KCLR News “It’s hugely important, the church is very important for the mental health and the spiritual welfare of people, across our dioceses in Ossory and Kildare and Leighlin huge work has been done on a local level by priests and parish committees to make our churches safe for public worship so the anticipated announcement that there would be a resumption of public worship is to be welcomed warmly”.

He adds “The anticipated announcement that there will be an increased number able to attend funerals or weddings up to 50 I think also is very welcome, I had to celebrate a funeral yesterday for a priest, 25 at it, it’s very restrictive at 25, we do funerals really well, so anything that gives people that bigger chance of gathering, the better”.

And Bishop Nulty too says “As a people of faith we like to gather, I think that’s terribly important, and we’ve missed that coming together so I welcome, please God it can’t come soon enough in many ways, but we also have to remember we’re living alongside a very brute of a virus and, you know, we all have to make sure we get vaccinated and we protect ourselves and those we love and do our best to live alongside the pandemic of Covid-19”.

Health

While Kilkenny GP Tadhg Crowley covered this too on his regular chat with Eimear Ní Bhraonáin on KCLR Live earlier – listen back to what he said here: