Gardaí, Council And HSE Make Appeal To Public Ahead Of Listowel Races

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AN appeal has been issued to the public ahead of the Listowel Races which begins this Sunday and runs until Saturday, September 26.

While the race meeting will be held behind closed doors, this hasn’t deterred people from booking accommodation all over north Kerry, including in Tralee, next week with a view to enjoying the festival locally.

The Gardaí, HSE and Kerry County Council are now appealing for the public to continue following public health guidelines. They are also appealing for anyone traveling to Listowel during the festival to follow public health guidelines as the country refocuses efforts to flatten the curve of Covid-19 again.

Continued below…


Speaking ahead of the festival, Inspector John Ryan of the Listowel Garda District said; “Every year we look forward to the Listowel Racing Festival and we want everyone to enjoy themselves safely. This year the public cannot attend the races but we will still have a significant policing operation in place for the duration of the festival.

“Anyone traveling to Listowel during the festival from 20th-26th September, we would ask them to follow public health guidelines, respect the local residents and not to drink alcohol on the streets. We will engage with the public with a view to implementing the guidelines issued by the Government and HSE in order to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our community as a whole. Our additional resources will be carrying out high visibility patrols to respond to reports of public order or gatherings. As more pubs are due to open during the festival we will also be increasing our inspections of licenced premises under Operation Navigation.

“In supporting the COVID-19 public health guidelines, An Garda Síochána has always maintained a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce – The Listowel Racing Festival will be no different.”

Cathaoirleach of the Listowel Municipal District, Cllr Michael Foley encouraged anyone visiting Listowel during Race Week to observe behaviours in keeping with the public health guidelines.

“There is simply too much at stake currently to allow any relaxation or ignoring of social distancing and other public health advice. There has always, and always, will be a warm welcome to visitors to Listowel but during the coming week, if you are visiting, please do so in the safest possible way. We are all still in this together,” he said.

Michael Fitzgerald, Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and chair of the HSE area crisis management team said “Unfortunately this pandemic is still with us, and we all need to continue our hard work to keep our communities safe. Everyone in the HSE is working hard to help communities slow the spread of Covid-19, and we need your support. It’s all too easy for us to leave our guard down, but unfortunately we need to continue to limit our social contacts and stay apart. This means that we may miss out on activities and occasions that we would usually look forward to, but we must remember the devastating impact Covide-19 can have if it take hold in a community.”


Anne Sheahan, acting Director of Public Health for the region said “Covid-19 is still incredibly infectious. The basic measures which we must all take haven’t changed. We must limit our contacts, we must keep our distance, wash our hands, catch our coughs and sneeze and where necessary, wear masks. While these measures are simple, we know that it can be hard to keep them up. We need to remember that our actions save lives and keep our community safe.”



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