Statement from the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie

31st March 2020

Cllr Currie 7858

The last few weeks have provided all of us with great challenges in dealing with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The Council has had to take some very difficult decisions. At all times we have been guided by the advice from the Public Health Agency and government to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you all for your patience and understanding in these difficult times as we come to terms with the impact which this pandemic is having on all our lives.

I would also like to pay tribute to the Council staff who are working on the frontline providing critical services to the public. I want to mention most especially our waste collection crews who have thus far provided an almost seamless service and I know that they will do their utmost to continue to provide this service with as little disruption as possible. I am very proud of them and of many of our staff who have been retrained and redeployed to help support critical services at this time.

Other Council staff working in key support roles have adapted quickly to the disruption in their work patterns and I want to thank them for that. We have been fortunate in that many of our staff have the capacity to work from home and we have facilitated that as far as possible.

I wish to commend the community and voluntary sector, who have once again demonstrated their key role by offering services to help those most vulnerable in our society. Whether it be doing errands, providing care, or just simply being on the other end of a telephone, you have once again displayed your true worth to the district.

Finally, I would like to voice my support and admiration to all those charged with looking after the health of the people of the district in our hospitals, care homes, and in the community; be they medical, carers, ancillary, administrative or support staff. The true value of our Health Service is to the fore in this time of crisis and the selflessness of all the staff, right across the entire spectrum of Healthcare provision, is to be greatly admired. On behalf of the residents of our district, a very heartfelt thank you.

All of our healthcare staff are making huge sacrifices and putting themselves at significant risk on our behalf. The least we can do, and the best way we can show our support for them, is to do as much as possible to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus by following the advice of the experts, by going out only if it is essential, by practising social distancing and by regularly washing our hands.

We are all in this together; we all have our own important part to play to help “flatten the curve”. Staying at home saves lives. I pray that you may all be kept safe at this time.

Councillor Siobhán Currie