Mayor of County of Cork Cllr Ian Doyle. Photo: Richard Coleman – AP

County Mayor's Diary Cllr Ian Doyle

With some restrictions alleviated, we are now able to look forward. It is clear that there are challenging times ahead, and we need to find ways to adapt and support our county in recovering from the economic impact of Covid-19.

This is the central mission of the council’s ACT initiative, which I launched on Monday alongside Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, at a socially distanced meeting with business and community representatives from throughout the county. Members of An Garda Síochána were also present for their input, as any steps we take now will need to observe social distancing and their support to date has been exceptional.

All of you can help greatly with this recovery. What I ask for now is that you spend your money locally.

The best chance we have to bring about an economic recovery is to try and ensure that every euro spent in our towns and villages stays in circulation there for as long as possible.

I have every faith that, together, we can weather the challenges ahead. Thanks to the efforts and sacrifices we have all made, as a nation we have entered Phase One of easing the restrictions in place to tackle the spread of Covid-19. We were all asked to make extraordinary sacrifices, and we all contributed to flattening the curve.

This week marks Cork Volunteer Week. Traditionally, Cork Volunteer Centre organised a series of events throughout the county to showcase the stellar work done by voluntary groups in Cork. Now that social distancing requirements prevent such events from taking place, the focus has shifted to virtually celebrating, congratulating and thanking Cork’s volunteers, who went beyond what was asked to make phenomenal contributions to the struggle with Covid-19.

Cork County Council’s first response to Covid-19 was the establishment of the Community Support Programme. This programme saw Cork County Council act as the coordinating body for a number of statutory and voluntary organisations to respond to the needs of the people of Cork. I sit on the forum for this programme and I am continually astounded by the response of volunteers countywide.

I have been a volunteer and community activist myself for many years, and I know how much of a difference such activity can make at the best of times. Holding the office of mayor during this crisis has been truly humbling, seeing ordinary people throughout Cork step up to meet the most extraordinary of challenges, from veterans to people volunteering for the first time. Alongside our frontline workers, these people are heroes in our midst.

The support that has been given to people asked to self-isolate and cocoon has saved lives, prevented the spread of Covid-19, and protected those most vulnerable in our community. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.