The people of Kerry can help to save lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19, but it will take a sustained and focussed effort from the entire community.

That’s the message from civic leaders and the emergency services across the county, who have joined together to appeal to the public to continue to heed messages on social distancing, hand hygiene and other advice from the HSE.

An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive and Kerry County Council continue working together through long-standing cross-county major emergency structures involving agencies in Cork and Kerry to prepare and respond to the needs of communities.

The joint message from the Mayor of Kerry, HSE representatives and senior Gardaí is clear – everyone must play a role in the days ahead to defend Kerry against the spread of COVID-19.

“I am appealing to the sense of community and solidarity for which we are renowned in Kerry,” Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Niall Kelleher said.
“At a time of challenge and adversity, I am encouraging all our citizens to look out for the vulnerable members of our community, support our friends and neighbours and show solidarity with those on the front line who are working every available hour to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.”

HSE management said they have been overwhelmed by the support from the people of Kerry to date.

Gerry O’Dwyer, CEO of South-South West Hospital Group added that the South-South West Hospital Group would like to reassure all the people in Kerry and the surrounding region that they are working non-stop to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

“Every possible arrangement is being made and we would like to thank the public for their continued support in these unprecedented times.”

Fearghal Grimes, General Manager of University Hospital Kerry (UHK) said there has been a massive response from the people of Kerry to the challenge we are facing.

“This is a difficult time, but we will get through this together – even if that means staying apart.”

Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health for HSE South explained the efforts which all HSE services are involved in and thanked the public for their support, while Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster added that they have restructured the deployment of resources, so that personnel are available to respond to community policing needs.

“The Kerry Division will see an allocation of eight newly attested probationer Gardaí to assist in policing and responding to the policing needs of our community. If any member of the public is in need of assistance, don’t be afraid to call your local Garda station,” she added.