LOCALS in a town in Co. Kerry have been forced to stage a protest against foreign fishermen who are apparently not adhering to social distancing measures.
The protest, which took place in Dingle on Monday, happened after French and Spanish fishermen, who had stopped briefly in the seaside town, were seen walking in large groups over the weekend.
The organiser of the protest, Robert Brosnan told Newstalk Breakfast that a blockade was organised as an attempt to force the fishermen into social distancing.
Mr Brosnan claimed that their actions were causing fear throughout the local community, which has a high proportion of elderly people, and that they resorted to the protest in order to protect themselves.
"Crews from Spain and France were moving through the town not keeping social distance, causing fear in the community," he said.
"This is causing unnecessary and extra worry to a community already told to keep to themselves."
Brosnan added that the local community felt they weren't being listened to and had no choice but to take action.
When he heard that two French vessels were due in port at high tide on Monday he decided to take a stand. He and a group parked cars at the end of the pier, effectively blocking anyone from moving off the pier.
He said he was proud of the stand he and his colleagues had made.
"We identified a danger and took a stand on behalf of the community."
While Mr Brosnan admitted that the crews understandably would want to enter the town when they come into port, the fact that they had not been observing social distancing measures and that they came from two countries that were badly impacted by the Covid-19 virus has particularly irked and frightened locals.
"We have to protect our community," he added.