Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Irish Regions Published
While it is clear that the Covid-19 outbreak will have a significant impact on Ireland’s economy, the degree to which this impact will be felt across Ireland’s regions, counties, cities and towns remains to be seen.
On this basis, the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland have prepared a “COVID-19 Regional Economic Analysis” to identify which geographical areas in Ireland are more likely to be exposed to economic disruption caused by the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Using the GeoDirectory commercial database as of September 2019, the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland have identified each geographical area’s reliance on the sectors that are likely to be severely affected by the public health measures needed to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Sectors considered to be the worst affected include, construction, wholesale and retail (excluding essential services), accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment and recreation services, childcare, quarrying and mining, and hair, beauty and wellbeing services.
The Northern and Western region is the most exposed region with 48.6% of its commercial units operating in the sectors likely to be worst affected, followed by the Southern region 47.2%, while the Eastern and Midland region had the lowest exposure at 43.6%. At sub-regional level, the Border and Midlands are worst exposed to the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, while Dublin was the least exposed.
According to the report, coastal and rural counties are more likely to be exposed to significant disruption from the outbreak as their reliance on commercial units generally require human interaction, while their ability to operate online is limited. The county that was likely to be most exposed was Kerry, with 53.8% of its commercial units operating in the sectors likely to be worst affected, followed by Westmeath at 51%, Donegal at 50.6%, Cavan at 50.5% and Clare at 50.4%.
In terms of cities, Galway City and Suburbs was likely to be the most exposed to the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, with 46.1% of its commercial units operating in the sectors likely to be worst affected. In terms of towns, Bundoran in Donegal, was likely to be the most exposed town in Ireland with 75.1% of its commercial units operating in the sectors likely to be worst affected. This was followed by Strandhill in Sligo at 70.7%, Courtown Harbour-Riverchapel- Ardamine in Wexford at 66.2%, Dingle in Kerry at 62.6% and Kenmare in Kerry at 61.9%
Cllr. Eamon Dooley, Cathaoirleach of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly said, “This report will inform policy makers at a local, regional and national level of the extent of economic exposure and resilience across Ireland and our region. This is consistent with the key principal of building economic resilience which is outlined in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly. An evidence-based approach is needed now more than ever and it is imperative that there is greater awareness of the potential economic exposure of our regions, counties and towns.”
The report is available to download below: