The closure of allotments in Galway as a result of Covid-19 is "counter-productive" and comes from an overly "rigid interpretation" of the lockdown regulations.
This is the view of Independent Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly, who is calling on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, and the Galway City Council, to re-open allotments in Galway again.
'Allotments provide a necessary outlet for people who do not have access to gardens or other outside spaces'
"It would appear the decision to close the allotments has arisen from their interpretation of the Government guidelines," she said. "According to this interpretation, allotments do not come within the criteria of essential work nor do they fall within recreational activity."
Deputy Connolly said while she understands the council's dilemma, but its interpretation is "counter-productive". She said: "Not only is essential fresh food is being produced in the allotments, but they provide a necessary outlet for people who do not have access to gardens or other outside spaces."
She said it was "vitally important" that the city council and the Minister "recognise the importance of allotments" and implement a "reasonable interpretation" of the guidelines to allow them reopen "albeit with the necessary social distancing precautions in place".