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Seniors left angry and worried over latest restrictions

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Kevin Monaghan and his wife Mairead do not know if they can take another weekend away

Kevin Monaghan and his wife Mairead do not know if they can take another weekend away

Kevin Monaghan and his wife Mairead do not know if they can take another weekend away

Pensioners are angry and confused over the latest restrictions imposed on them following a resurgence of Covid-19, Active Retirement Ireland (ARI) has said.

The national representative body for more than 500 retirement associations said it has been inundated with calls and emails from many of its 25,000 members who do not know what to make of the latest health advice from the Government.

"We've been fielding calls and emails all day," ARI CEO Maureen Kavanagh said last night. "They're just really confused."

A day after the organisation issued a statement in which members felt they were being punished by the new restrictions, which came after a resurgence of Covid-19 among mostly younger people, members feel the Government's message is contradictory.

Ms Kavanagh cited the appearance of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on RTÉ's Prime Time programme on Tuesday night, when he said the over-70s and other cocooners can go on staycations as long as they limit their exposure to others.

This advice contradicts the statement from acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn, who said seniors should avoid stay- cations altogether.

Retired paramedic Kevin Monaghan (74) and his wife Mairead (69) are among those seniors who say they are paying the price for others breaking the rules.

The couple, from Castlefinn, Co Donegal, have been cocooning at their home since the beginning of the lockdown in March.

Reassuring

The only time they ventured out, except to buy groceries, was last weekend when they spent two nights at a hotel in Co Cavan.

It was the first time they have been able to see some of their eight grandchildren since the lockdown.

Now they are not sure if they can go on another trip, even though Mr Monaghan said he found the hotel's strict adherence to guidelines "very reassuring".

"I found it very confusing. I wonder are the Government listening to the health experts or the 'experts' in their own parties," he said.