More than 50 businesses in the west Limerick town of Rathkeale have formed a 'Team Rathkeale' group to boost the town's economy and to try to fight the downturn in business brought about by the Covid-19 restrictions.

The group, which includes supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurant and hotel owners, hairdressers, and banks, wants to remind the public that the town has a lot to offer and also to thank customers for their ongoing support.

David Lamont, who is on the group's steering committee, said that businesses across the country have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

In addition, Rathkeale also suffered from negative publicity following allegations that people from outside the town were bringing Covid-19 into the area.

He said they welcomed the establishment of the walk-in Covid-19 testing clinic established in the town two weeks ago, which enabled people from across the region to have a test, and also reassure people who were worried about acquiring the virus.

The clinic saw 669 people attend to be tested.

The group has also established an action fund to help market and advertise the town's business message.

It has established a workshop to help businesses brainstorm about short, medium and long-term actions about what is necessary to try to help them during the difficult times of the pandemic.

Mr Lamont said they were looking forward to regular workshop meetings, not just in Rathkeale but also to help all west Limerick towns that face similar problems.