Tipperary Covid-19 outbreak leads to a sense of frustration in Nenagh
A large community outbreak of Covid-19 in the Nenagh area over the past few weeks has led to a sense of frustration around the town.
As many as 120 cases have been recorded since the start of the month. These involve cases from households, indoor social gatherings, schools, workplaces and community transmission.
And more than 200 cases have been recorded throughout Tipperary in the same period.
Nenagh CBS secondary school has closed and all students and teachers have been tested for the virus.
Classes in St Mary’s Secondary School have also been affected with TY, fifth-year and Leaving Cert students sent home.
It is understood schools across North Tipperary and even into Limerick have been affected by the outbreak.
The outbreak has also meant that underage training, which was to resume on Monday has been cancelled.
In response to the crisis, the HSE opened a walk-in test centre at Tyone this Tuesday. It will remain open until May 3. It is open from 8.30am to 6.30pm daily.
The outbreak has led to the cathaoirleach of Nenagh Municipal District Council, Cllr Seamus Morris urging people not to get angry with each other over the situation and not to blame each other for it.
"It wasn't young people who didn't lock down the ports and airports or put India on the red list or bring in the variants or struggle with the vaccine rollout," he said. "These were the actions of adults."
He appealed to people to be “patient”.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel, even though the Government keeps turning the light off,” he said.
Cllr Morris said the outbreak was a “timely reminder” to young people of how ultra-transmissible the virus was and that people had to be careful.
“Even though young people are healthy, it is a dangerous lottery what the virus can do to you,” he warned.
Nenagh Chamber’s Denis Finnerty said that there was a lot of disappointment in the town as the outbreak had “landed us back as the hot spot in Munster. People feel let down. It is disheartening.”
He said local schools must be “devastated” as it was the “worst possible outcome”.
“The ripple effect of the outbreak has been incredible,” said Mr Finnerty.
While it was continually stated that schools were not a problem, the outbreak had shown how vulnerable schools and teachers were, he said.
It showed that the virus was not a disease of the aged.
Mr Finnerty, who is a member of Nenagh Olympic, said that the club had to cancel its return to training as otherwise they would have been “courting disaster” as their members came from all over Tipperary.
Meanwhile, Nenagh CBS sent a letter to parents this Monday saying that since a previous letter was issued on April 23, several further cases of Covid-19 among students had been notified to the Department of Public Health HSE MidWest, and all students and staff were now considered close contacts and advised to restrict their movements.
The outbreak has also hit underage return to sport with Nenagh Éire Óg and Nenagh AFC both cancelling training.
It is hoped to review the situation this Saturday.