|“The COVID-19 virus represents an unprecedented challenge to our country. Every aspect of our public service and private sector will come under extraordinary pressure and every citizen in every community will be required to play their part. |
“I have no doubt in my mind that we are equal to this challenge.
“The manner in which our entire medical community has come together in the face of this threat has been inspirational. Their energy, innovation, commitment and fearless approach to protecting our people is something to behold. Their resilience is the most important asset we have – it is important that we honour it and thank the women and men of the HSE every chance we get.
“Ireland has a deep understanding and love for community. We need to draw now on our deepest values and harness that community spirit. The advice on what each of us needs to do is clear – we all need to follow that advice – not just for our own health, but for the benefit of all those around us. Each one of us needs to think of vulnerable people in our midst and ask ourselves what we can do to help them through this.
“Since the first case emerged in the country, the Fianna Fáil front bench and I have been in regular contact with the Taoiseach, ministers and the medical experts. We have provided our feedback and observations on an ongoing basis and it is important that this constructive approach continue across the political spectrum. The medical experts are in the lead and their advice should continue to dictate our approach, without equivocation.
“COVID-19 will pass. By staying strong and united in our communities and as a country we will minimise the damage that it causes. We will beat this.”