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Sinister vigilante-style letter warns off Kilkee visitors

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A Garda investigation is underway following the discovery of several threatening messages in Kilkee.

Fear had been expressed by year-round residents of the coastal town that the Easter bank-holiday weekend may lead to a surge in visitors that would risk defying public health regulations set out to limit the spread of Coronavirus.

A4 sized notices were spotted in different parts of Kilkee on Wednesday night with the threat that there may be damage to holiday homes if occupants from outside the 2km restriction were to relocate there during the pandemic.

“Holiday home owners, Stay at home does not mean your holiday pad. We would like you to return to your home. Do the right thing, fuck off out of Kilkee NOW! If you do not leave, when this crisis is over, you may not have a holiday home to return to this summer,” the sheets which were titled Kilkee Residents Health Defence read.

Gardaí were alerted to the notice on Thursday with an investigation now underway as to who placed them at certain locations. Kilrush Garda Station are examining the matter, witnesses are able to contact them on 065 9080550.

Kilkee Chamber of Commerce have described the actions as “nonsensical, counter productive and criminal behaviour”. A spokesperson outlined, “This is not indicative of the attitude of the overwhelming majority of people in Kilkee. This is the action of one or two idiotic and attention seeking individuals. We urge everyone to stay safe, follow the official advice from the HSE and An Garda Síochána and we look forward to welcoming you all back to Kilkee once this crisis is over”.

Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) has criticised those responsible for failing to portray the true feelings of locals. “It is a reprehensible cowardly act by one or two idiots who in no way represent the feelings of the majority of Kilkee residents”.

Peace commissioner, Mike Taylor pointed out that the actions wasted valuable Garda time. “This is utterly senseless and Kilkee is better than this. I agree with the sentiment that holiday home owners need to stay home, however I believe you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. An Garda Siochána were granted extra powers last night and they have not hesitated to use them, which is very welcome. But this incident of a credible will now tie up their valuable time and they won’t be able to run checkpoints and turn visitors around. So this move was not only senseless, but it defeated the purpose”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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