In today's order of business on the request of local councillors Frank Roche and Brendan Fay , I asked to extend the hedge cutting season by 2 weeks due to unfavourable weather conditions. When I heard the news that Ulster Bank intend to withdraw from Ireland my heart went out to the 2800 staff and their families that face imminent threat of redundancies at a time when so many jobs and businesses are already on life support. When the states business supports and PUP are withdrawn we could see a considerable lengthening of the dole queue in Ireland. The withdrawal of Ulster Bank also impacts small businesses and consumers in an already uncompetitive banking sector on top dealing with the impacts of lockdown and Brexit. The government's so called living with Covid strategy is a failure. People are not being allowed to live. It is not right to permit the country to be ruled as if we were a hospital ward and for people to be treated as if they are a vector for the disease. Is being permitted leaving one's home to go to a supermarket or a pharmacy living with Covid? There is no strategy for living with Covid.
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