LESS than a day before circuit breaker restrictions came into force in Northern Ireland, a number of Fermanagh hairdressers and beauticians received correspondence stating that they will not be receiving Government funding support that they had been advised to apply for.

Hairdresser Devon Casey, the owner of Elysian in Enniskillen, was sent an email yesterday (Thursday, November 26) stating that her application for Localised Restrictions Support was unsuccessful.

She received this news just as she was finishing up with her final client ahead of having to close her salon for another two weeks.

"I was still in the salon, and my last client was in the basin getting their hair washed, and I had to fight back tears," Devon told The Impartial Reporter.

The email Devon received stated: “I regret to inform you that your application was not successful, because the business associated with this application has not been required to close or severely limit operations at their premises under the Health Protection Regulations that have been put in place by the NI Executive under the initial terms of this scheme.”

However, Devon can’t understand this, saying: “Every salon in the country has been closed for the past five weeks.”

Speaking to this newspaper this morning, a local beautician – who wishes to remain anonymous – received a similar email.

They said: “I have been forced to close, but I received this email to say I haven’t been affected by the closures and that I’m not entitled to any support.

“I never received any support in the first lockdown, as I was a relatively new business – open less than a year – so I was delighted to be told [ahead of receiving this email] that I was eligible for this [support] as it was to include all businesses affected by the closure,” said the beautician.

“I’m absolutely devastated – I’ve three kids to support, and have had to beg from family.

“I know I’m lucky to be in that position, and many others aren’t, but I can’t continue to live off borrowed money," she added.