Mary Lou McDonald plans Dáil return after two-week absence
SINN Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald will return to the Dáil next week after being absent from the public spotlight for over a fortnight.
Ms McDonald tweeted on March 26 – 17 days ago – that she had woken up with a head cold and would be remaining at home as a precaution amid the growing spread of the coronavirus.
She has since missed two Dáil sittings and has not been present at briefings for party leaders on the Government’s response to the Covid-19 emergency in recent weeks.
Pearse Doherty, the party’s deputy leader in the Dáil and finance spokesman, and health spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly have deputised for Ms McDonald.
Sinn Féin has declined to say whether the Dublin Central TD underwent testing for Covid-19, but it is understood she will address the matter herself in the coming days.
Ms McDonald tweeted on April 1 that she was still “under the weather so I’m staying home and taking all necessary precautions”.
A party source said she would return to the political fray next week.
“She’s on the mend now and I’m sure she will say something shortly about it herself,” the source said. “All being well she will be in Dáil on Thursday.”
Ms McDonald is also due to address Sinn Féin’s National Easter Commemoration event on Sunday.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the event is being held online and will be broadcast across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube with Ms McDonald to deliver an oration.