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Michael Lowry TD On Painful Consequences of New Funeral Rules

“When we look back on this present time in the years to come, I believe that this (Referring to new funeral arrangements governing the Covid-19 pandemic) will be amongst our saddest memories of this extraordinary time and one of the changes; albeit very necessary, that will leave lasting scars on our hearts” Quote Tipperary Independent TD Michael Lowry.

“The governments sensible announcement that no more than 10 people can attend funeral services in their normal places of worship or at gravesides or in crematoriums; will remain very difficult for Irish people”, says Deputy Michael Lowry.

“Over the recent past Irish people are and will continue to struggle to adapt to the many changes in their lives. Some are easier to handle than others, but some go against the very things that make us uniquely Irish”. Not being able to gather to mourn our deceased family members and friends, or offer support to grieving families in the way that we have always done in Ireland, is one of the most painful changes we have had to live with,” says the Deputy.

The Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry was speaking, after contacting one of the many grieving families by phone and feeling the frustration of not being able to shake their hands and offer words of comfort.

The Deputy says that people depend on each other in times of grief and without the strength, support and company of others, grieving families may feel lost and alone. “But that is what grieving families are now forced to face in these challenging times”, he stated.

“Ireland has a very special and cherished way of holding funerals”, he continued. “We listen daily to local media broadcasts to hear if a member of our community has passed away. We attend the home of the deceased person to be with their families and we go to the Funeral Home to shake their hands and let them know we share their grief. We attend the removal of the deceased to their place of worship and we attend their funeral service and then we stand beside the bereaved as their loved one is laid to rest. We offer strength and support through our presence. It’s what we do, it’s what we’ve always done, but we cannot do so at this time and it hurts”.

Deputy Lowry confirms that he is very conscious of the fact that every person who has died in Ireland as a result of Covid-19 has died alone in many cases, or without the closeness of those they deeply love. He acknowledges with great sadness that families cannot grieve together due to social distancing rules and that the funerals of those who have passed are attended only by their very closest family members.

Under the new rules announced yesterday, all funeral services from now; until restrictions are lifted, will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people and, even as people stand at the graveside of their loved one, social distancing must be observed.

Deputy Lowry says that he understands that mourners, funeral directors and celebrants must be protected from Covid-19 and that the new measures introduced are necessary to ensure that. “But, when we look back on this present time in the years to come, I believe that this will be amongst our saddest memories of this extraordinary time and one of the changes, albeit very necessary, that will leave lasting scars on our hearts; in the meanwhile stay safe”, concluded Mr Lowry.

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Helplines See Unprecedented Rise in Volume of Assistance Calls – Lowry

Helplines See Unprecedented Rise in Volume of Calls – Michael Lowry TD

The sheer speed at which the Covid-19 virus has turned our lives upside down has caused stress, worry and problems of many kinds for people across the length and breadth of Ireland.

Schools at all levels have been closed; jobs have been lost; businesses have been forced to close; people have been restricted in how they live their everyday lives; elderly people and many who live alone are confined to their homes; social lives have vanished; sporting events are cancelled; visits to family and friends are on hold and families are enclosed in their homes day in and day out.

Add to this, the overwhelming fear of becoming ill; the stress of worrying about vulnerable family members getting ill; worries about present and future finances; keeping both adults and children occupied all day every day; concerns about work and school and the constant bombardment of dismal news stories from home and abroad. It’s easy to see how it all creates the perfect storm for a dangerous overload of stress, anxiety, depression and a myriad of social problems.

Deputy Michael Lowry is reaching out to people to advise them not to suffer in silence. “There are many Helplines and Support Groups in Ireland that are there to help and offer advice” he says. Since the arrival of Covid-19 in Ireland there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of calls to Helplines from people of all ages, from young children to elderly men and women and Deputy Lowry says that these services are providing an invaluable lifeline to many people, in a wide range of situations.

Amongst the busiest Helplines at present are those who offer advice and support to children and teenagers; the elderly and those living alone; those with mental health issues and those who are victims of domestic abuse or violence. “By picking up the phone to any of the Helplines available you are assured of a listening ear, an opportunity to speak to someone who truly understands and who can guide you to get the help that you need if necessary,” says Deputy Lowry.

Deputy Lowry has provided herewith a comprehensive list of Helplines and their contact details hereunder, as well as a list of the phone numbers for Garda Stations across Tipperary.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out for help at any time, but even more so during this time when our personal strength is being tested more than at any time in living memory”, Mr Lowry states.

Helplines

Aware (Depression) 1800 8044848.
HSE 1850 241850.
Pieta House (Suicide Helpdesk) 1800 247247.
Grow (Mental Health) 1890 474474.
Samaritans 116 123.
National Office of Suicide Prevention 01 6201670.
Childline Freefone 1800 666666.
Parentline 1890 927277.
Teenline 1800 833634.
Seniorline 1800 804591.
ALONE 0818 222024.
AMEN (Domestic Violence) 01 55543811.
Rape Crisis Centre 1800 778888.
Tipperary Rape Crisis, Clonmel 1800 340340.
Tipperary Rape Crisis, Nenagh 1800 541122.
Irish Wheelchair Association 01 8186400.
Cuan Saor Women’s Refuge 1800 576757.
Legal Aid Board 1890 615200.
Law Centre Nenagh (L.A.B.) 067 34181.
MABS 0761 072000.
Citizens Advice Bureau 0761 074000.

Living Links

An Garda Siochana
Emergencies 999 or 112.
Thurles 0504 25100.
Nenagh 067 50450.
Roscrea 0505 24230.
Tipperary Town 062 80670.
Clonmel 052 617 7640.
Templederry 0504 52202.
Cahir 052 744 5630.
Carrick-On-Suir 051 642 040.
Newport 061 378 102.
Ballingarry 052 915 4100.
Littleton 0504 44395.
Cloughjordan 0505 42122.
Cashel 062 75840.
Borrisokane 067 27101.
Toomevara 067 26002.
Mullinahone 052 913 3160.
Fethard 052 613 1202.
Clogheen 052 746 5204.

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New Service Measures From Tipperary Co. Council

A Press Release From Tipperary Co. Council, Dated today, Saturday 28th March 2020, regarding New Covid 19 Service Measures.

In response to the Taoiseach’s announcement last night, Tipperary County Council would like to announce the following new measures to be introduced:-

With immediate effect from Monday 30th March 2020, all County Council Offices including Municipal District Offices are closed to members of the public until further notice, with the exception of some very limited public access, strictly by appointment for certain housing/homeless services.

A dedicated Community Response service will be established, which will act as a Signpost, and refer callers to the appropriate agency supports, local and national help lines as required (e.g. Gardai, ALONE, The Samaritans, Citizens Information, etc) which will Co-ordinate and assist in the delivery of food, fuel and medicine to vulnerable people where their usual sources of support are unavailable, through community structures such as the GAA, Local Link Tipperary, Community Meals and the Local Development Companies.
A further statement will issue in this regard over the coming days.

Only priority services will continue to be maintained (e.g. water supply and waste water services) as well as emergency response services (e.g. roads maintenance, public lighting and housing maintenance) together with minimal waste management / street cleansing services and a minimal parks maintenance service.

Tipperary Fire Service will continue to operate as normal.
Motor Tax Offices will be closed, however postal and online motor tax service business will continue to operate.
Civic Amenity sites will only accept household waste.

Council staff will ensure a continuity of essential and critical service across our key operations and the Council’s Crisis Management Team will continue to meet on an ongoing basis.

General information on Council services can be accessed on line and the Council is asking members of the public to avail of these services by:- Post, by Telephone on 0761 06 5000, from 9.30am to 4.30p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays or Email to customerservices@tipperarycoco.ie .

The emergency Telephone numbers outside of office hours for the following services are;
Roads1890 923 948
Housing (Emergency Electrical and Plumbing issues only)1890 923 948
Water and Wastewater1850 278 278

Tipperary County Council’s response will continue to be informed by advice from the HSE and Public Health Authorities.

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Death Toll From Covid-19 Pandemic Reaches 36 In Ireland

It is once again, with sadness, that we learned of fourteen persons having died from the Covid-19 pandemic here in the Republic of Ireland. This news comes on a day when 294 new cases have also been diagnosed.

There are now 2,415 confirmed cases of Covid-19 here in the Republic and all 14 of the deaths announced today were located in the east of the country, bringing the overall related death toll to 36, in our Republic.

In Northern Ireland, the death toll has now reached 15, with two further deaths reported today, while 49 new positive cases of Covid-19 were also identified; bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 324.

Cocooning for all those over 70 years of age together with certain categories of people who are considered vulnerable to Covid-19, is also being introduced.

The Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris has stated earlier that the current measures introduced by the Government were as tough as it can possibly get, but was introduced to save lives.

Mr Harris also announced that the HSE had hired an additional 260 nurses and 63 doctors, and would continue to process further suitable applications. He went on to also announce that the first consignment of personal protective equipment from China would be due into Dublin Airport tomorrow afternoon, and the HSE would begin distributing same, where applicable, tomorrow evening.

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Retail Outlets Deemed Essential During Covid-19 Lock Down

A mandatory government decision for Irish people to remain at home for a two-week period, until Easter Sunday April 12th, apart from named exceptions, is now currently in effect across our Republic.

The list of retail outlets which are deemed essential to remain open under the new Covid-19 restrictions are listed hereunder.


These include Food & Beverage stores, Newsagents, premises selling Household Products, Pharmacies, Medical Supply outlets, Fuel Stations, Animal Feed outlets, Pet Stores, Laundries, Banks, Credit Unions, Post Offices, Safety Supply stores and Off-licences; all of the latter now deemed essential.

Opticians, Motor Repair and Bicycle Repair outlets will no longer be able to open their doors and will instead only be permitted to offer an emergency call-out or delivery service; while Electrical, Hardware, Farm equipment, Agricultural supplies, and Gardening outlets, are to have their opening times restricted to call-out or delivery only.

All above named essential retailers remaining open from today, must ensure organised adequate distancing between customers and staff, while ‘queue control’ must be fully implemented.

All private and public gatherings are now banned, however, people can leave their homes for brief physical exercise, but can only travel within 2km (1.24 miles) from their home.

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