Mary Lou McDonald calls on party leaders to lead from the front during Coronavirus public health emergency
Speaking following a meeting of party leaders to discuss Coronavirus containment plans, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said that a collective approach is needed and welcomed today's responsible decision to cancel St Patrick's Day events.
McDonald also stressed the urgent need to develop a strategy to protect workers as well as maximising capacity in our health service.
Teachta McDonald said:
"I welcome this evening's meeting with party leaders to discuss Coronavirus containment plans.
"We have all agreed that we will now meet twice weekly with the same format to consider those plans and discuss what is a developing public health emergency.
"This is a situation that requires a collective and cross-party approach where party leaders lead from the front.
"It was a positive discussion and I welcome the decision of Leo Varadkar agreeing to my request to hold such meetings.
"We are facing a huge public health emergency that will have knock-on effects to our economy.
"We must, as a matter of urgency, develop a strategy that protects our workers as well as speeding up efforts to maximise the capacity of our health service.
"Today's decision to cancel St Patrick's Day parades and events was the sensible and necessary decision to make.
"I know there will be huge public disappointment with that decision as well as financial repercussions for many businesses.
"But the health and wellbeing of our citizens must be the first and foremost priority for all of us."