I walked around the city on the day before St. Patrick's Day taking photographs using a Sony RX0 which is not much bigger than a matchbox.

My "streets of Ireland" programme for 2020 was due to begin on the following day with the Dublin Parade and the following week I was due to spend a week photographing Belfast city followed by week long visits to Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Kilkenny with shorter visits to a number of major towns but of Covid-19 I had to cancel all hotel bookings. At the time I believed that everything would return to normal by August or September.

The COVID-19 pandemic reached Ireland on 29 February 2020, and within three weeks, cases had been confirmed in all counties. The pandemic affected many aspects of society. On 12 March, the government shut all schools, colleges, childcare facilities and cultural institutions, and advised cancelling large gatherings. St Patrick's Day festivities were called off, and the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, addressed the nation that night. On 24 March, almost all businesses, venues, facilities and amenities were shut; but gatherings of up to four were allowed. Three days later on 27 March, the government imposed a stay-at-home order, banning all non-essential travel and contact with people outside one's home (including family and partners). The elderly and those with certain health conditions were told to cocoon. People were made to keep apart in public. The Garda Síochána were given power to enforce the measures, which were repeatedly extended until 18 May.


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