Stay safe for a Happy Christmas say HSE, the Gardai and the five local authorities in the South East

HSE Media Statement: 24th December 2020

The HSE has joined with the Gardaí and Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Wexford County Councils and Waterford City and County Council to reiterate basic messages on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking as one in a special Christmas appeal and after a schedule of additional restrictions were announced yesterday by the government, the three principal agencies say the recent rise in figures for those contracting the virus are very concerning.

The agencies point to the hope being provided in 2021 by the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine and are reminding everyone of the importance in ensuring older and vulnerable people are kept safe in the meantime, so that it can be availed of.

Director of the HSE’s South East Public Health Dept. Dr. Carmel Mullaney, the Chief Officer of South East Community Healthcare Kate Killeen White and the General Managers of the four acute hospitals in the region (Grace Rothwell of University Hospital Waterford, Linda O’ Leary of Wexford General Hospital, Anne Slattery of St. Luke’s General Hospital, Carlow / Kilkenny and Maria Barry of South Tipperary General Hospital) say the HSE is anxious that individuals, families and communities act to avoid any further spikes in infections, which would place pressures on frontline services.

Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council Cllr. Tom O’ Neill, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Cllr. Andrew McGuinness, Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council Cllr. Michael Smith, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr. Ger Carthy and Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Damien Geoghegan – joined by the respective Chief Executives Kathleen Holohan  (Carlow), Colette Byrne (Kilkenny), Joe MacGrath (Tipperary), Michael Walsh (Waterford City and County) and Tom Enright (Wexford) – are also urging people not to allow everyone’s hard work to date in 2020 to be undermined and are reiterating that individual actions do matter – including adherence to all of the public health restrictions.

Garda Chief Superintendents Pádraig Dunne (Carlow/Kilkenny and Waterford), Derek Smart (Tipperary) and Denis Ferry (Wexford) say we are at a critical point in tackling the spread of Covid-19 and that people in South East must take personal responsibility to avoid situations that are a risk to themselves, their family and their friends.

The HSE, the local authorities and the Gardaí will be working hard to protect people through Christmas and beyond but with the aim in mind of getting to a better and safer place as a society in 2021, they are urging people to continue taking precautions in relation to transmissions of Covid-19, to adhere to restrictions, and practice “the basics”:

  • Reduce your contacts with other people.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Wash your hands.



For what to do when you’re waiting for a test, when you get a result and when you need to isolate, please see:

For up to date public health advice and a comprehensive range of other important information on Covid 19, please see

Information about level 3 restrictions is at This link opens in a new browser window.

Last updated on: 24 / 12 / 2020