“The community here are very supportive, and we all kept in contact during lockdown.”

We’ve been delighted to hear positive stories of community and support from our Members in the Munster Co-operative. Peter Gatnarek, a resident of Rooskagh Valley in Shanagarry, Cork, tells us how his family have been during Covid-19 restrictions.

“I was lucky during lockdown that my day-to-day wasn’t affected too much. I work in retail so was still doing my usual working hours and travelling to work each day.

My wife was looking after our two daughters 24/7 so that was a big change for her. They are seven and ten-years-old, so when schools closed it was challenging. We’re fortunate though in many ways as our home is close to the beach. Even during the 2km travel limit, we were still able to go there with the girls in the morning and evening time when I got home from work. That was a great distraction for us as a family, and wonderful for the girls to be able to get out of the house and play by the sea. We live at the end of our estate and there’s a good space outside for the girls to play there too. It was somewhat difficult for us to explain to them that they had to socially distance from other kids, but they were both very good about it.

The community here are very supportive, and we all kept in contact during lockdown. My partner was able to meet with our neighbours at a distance on the green during the day and have a coffee and a catch-up. There’s also a couple living in the estate who are musicians – one plays the piano, the other plays the saxophone. They’ve done a few socially distanced Jazz performances outside during lockdown for the estate which was great fun.

I think the hardest part for us is not being able to travel to Poland and Slovakia to visit our family there. The girls would usually go for two months each year to visit their grandparents. It’s something we all look forward to. It’s frustrating as although Slovakia is on Ireland’s Green List, Ireland is not on theirs. I’m hopeful we will get to visit our family again soon”.