Sligo County Council media statement - Monday, 23rd March, 2020

Be Vigilant and heed the Advice

‘Be vigilant and heed the advice of the HSE and Government’. 

That’s the strong message from the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Tom MacSharry and Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes, who have joined in the call for all citizens to contribute to the national effort in the critical days and weeks ahead. 

‘We urge all citizens to act on the advice and take personal responsibility’ they said, adding that ‘the importance of following the advice on hand washing, cough etiquette, social distancing and self-isolation cannot be stressed enough at this critical time’.   

Resilience

The Cathaoirleach said

‘The challenge facing us requires a response that in other times would be unthinkable. The primary objective is the welfare of all our citizens, but particularly the vulnerable, and we must ensure that those who need to self-isolate are supported.  It is heartening to witness the coming together of communities in a way that demonstrates the resilience of society.’

Key services

The Chief Executive assured the public that essential services continue to be delivered including Water Supply, Fire Services, Environment, Cemeteries and Roads. 

‘We are asking the public’s forbearance during this emergency and to be mindful of contacting us for urgent or emergency issues only’. 

He confirmed the Council is open for business but with access being managed because of the emergency.  Customers are advised to write, phone or e-mail for Housing Loan, Rent, Rates, Motor Tax and Parking Fines queries and are also directed to the Council’s website www.sligococo.ie for regular updates as well as all social media platforms.  Meetings are only being arranged by appointment where necessary and all the contact details are posted on the website.

Front-line staff 

Both took the opportunity to praise the work of the front line staff, not only of the HSE and GP’s, but all staff including Pharmacies, Supermarkets, Food and other stores providing necessary services to the public in very difficult and changed circumstances.  They were keen also to acknowledge the work of the Council’s own staff and the response of the public sector in general and were highly complementary of the manner in which all strands of the public sector was pulling together in a joint effort to combat the issues.  Praise and gratitude too was extended to the various Unions who are facilitating the co-ordinated response and all of whom recognise the urgency of addressing a national emergency that is accelerating and changing rapidly.

Special mention was reserved for community and voluntary groups who are going out of their way to ensure supports are available to those who are self-isolating. 

‘It is heartening to hear the innovative and creative manner in which communities are coming together to support each other’, they said.

Personal Responsibility

However their critical message is to stress the absolute need for all citizens to heed the advice of the medical experts. 

‘If this advice is ignored the co-ordinated efforts of the Government, entire public service and vast majority of the public will be compromised and more of our citizens will become ill and die.  It is as serious as that.  So please follow the social distancing guidelines, wash your hands as often as necessary, self-isolate if you need to and follow the coughing etiquette’.