DEFENDED BELMULLET’S REPUTATION Fine Gael councillor Gerry Coyle.
AN Erris-based councillor says the people of Belmullet are resilient enough to weather the current Covid-19 crisis in the barony, but he appealed to people to stay at home.
Belmullet and the wider Erris region is the worst hit area of Ireland in the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with a number of people dying and being hospitalised as a result.
The latest electoral area stats showed that the Belmullet Electoral Area, which includes Erris, Achill and Mulranny, is the worst-affected area in the country, with 760 confirmed cases in the electoral area in the two-week period up to January 11.
This gave the area a 14-day incidence rate of 6,031.7 per 100,000 population, which indicates that one in 17 people of the electoral area contracted the virus.
The area received widespread national and international media attention due to the high rates in the area.
‘Belmullet did nothing different’
Speaking at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, Cllr Gerry Coyle said the region will prevail. “Belmullet is resilient, the people of Belmullet are resilient and we will overcome this and come out the other side,” he said. “With all the publicity we have got in Belmullet recently, the best way to sympathise with people is to stay at home. That is your simple message.”
Cllr Coyle also defended the reputation of the town saying that ‘Belmullet did nothing different from any other place’.
“There was people who did not go outside the door who have got this, and I ask people not to be sharing comments about Belmullet.”
With Covid-19 figures in the county so high, the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council and the acting Chief Executive both reiterated the message to adhere to all public health guidelines.
“This is the only way to get numbers down and flatten the curve,” said Peter Duggan, the acting Chief Executive. “I would urge everyone to heed the public health advise but the primary public health message is to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. We have seen cases recorded in their thousands … we are at a critical stage with our health system in a crisis, and we all need to do our bit to bring numbers down.”
Cllr Richard Finn said that although the vaccine may be getting rolled out, the public should not get complacent, pointing out that the public-health guidelines will have to be adhered to until the majority of the population is vaccinated.