Tuesday April 7, 2020

How two Irish towns rise to the challenge of being under siege

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best in two midlands towns: the frequently-flooded Athlone, twice besieged during the Williamite wars, and Lanesboro at the other end of Lough Ree, which is suffering from the loss of ESB and Bord na Móna jobs

Killian Woods

Business reporter

22nd March, 2020
Joe O’Brien, in his newsagents in Lanesboro, Co Longford He has offered free delivery to customers Picture: Barry Cronin

Athlone and Lanesboro sum up the story of the midlands in modern Ireland. Two towns, one large and one small, both under fire. The coronavirus outbreak is just the latest problem to land on their doorsteps.

Athlone has become accustomed to crisis. The River Shannon, the town’s defining landmark, threatens to burst its banks far too regularly these days. Athlone’s community is used to rallying together as a result. Looking out for one’s neighbour has...

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