Mary-Lou and Micheal Martin go head to head in the Dail following restriction announcements
Provided by Extra.ie
Mary Lou McDonald and Taoiseach Micheal Martin went head to head in the Dail on Tuesday following the latest restriction announcements.
The Sinn Fein president condemned the Taoiseach for causing further confusion while outlining the Government plan for Living with COVID.
In response, the Taoiseach hit back that the Government plan was ‘very comprehensive’ in terms of living with COVID for the next six months.© Provided by e Mary Lou McDonald and Taoiseach Micheal Martin went head to head in the Dail today following the latest restriction announcements. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins
‘Today you promised clarity, but instead, what we have had is further confusion,’ stated Ms McDonald in the Dail on Tuesday morning.
‘Dublin is left in limbo, our citizens over 70 are left without a sense of real guidance, and your travel advice is confused and unsure again. But, most strikingly, Taoiseach, is the absence of any comprehensive plan to step up testing and tracing capacity.
‘You and I know that people are waiting — in some cases six or seven days — for results from their tests. And it is that inefficiency which allows the virus to take hold and to transmit across our communities. You’ve made an appeal again, Taoiseach, today to individual citizens to shoulder their responsibilities, and that’s fair enough. But the fact is that you are failing in yours.’© Provided by Extra.ie The Sinn Fein president condemned the Taoiseach for causing further confusion while outlining the Government plan for Living with COVID. Pic: Fran Veale
‘You can publish whatever plan you want but they’re not worth the paper they are written on so long as our testing and tracing capacities are so woefully inadequate.’
Outlining the opportunities that the Taoiseach had to provide adequate testing and tracing, Mary-Lou concluded: ‘Amongst all the bluster and the very very long press conference that you held today, there is one inescapable truth.
‘And that is, either you get testing and tracing right and you do it quickly, or we will be consigned to a yo-yo effect of further restrictions and even lockdowns. I have no doubt that citizens will bear the burden of their responsibilities, but the government has to measure up to theirs’.© Provided by Extra.ie Mary Lou outlining the opportunities that the Taoiseach had to provide adequate testing and tracing. Pic: Oireachtas TV
In response, Micheal Martin said: ‘In the first instance, could I say that the government has published a very comprehensive plan today in terms of living with COVID-19 for the next six months, a plan that basically has three key principles.
‘To protect lives — the health of our people and also to limit the damage that COVID-19 can do to people’s health long term — to protect employment and economic resilience as best we can, to keep jobs in our economy and enterprises viable, and in terms of quality of life and the restoration of public services, and to do what we did with the schools.
‘That was a very confidence-boosting measure, Deputy… to bring one million people back into our schools… I think was a very significant thing to do in the middle of a global pandemic.’© Provided by Extra.ie In response, Micheal Martin said: ‘In the first instance, could I say that the government has published a very comprehensive plan today in terms of living with COVID-19 for the next six months, a plan that basically has three key principles. Pic: Julien Behal Photography
‘In terms of testing and tracing, not the contrast in terms of the Deputy’s language today around testing, tracing, and the performance of the HSE, and her approach when I facilitated a meeting with the HSE about two weeks ago.
‘There’s all this talk about woeful performance. Over a million tests have taken place in this country since the pandemic… It’s not good enough to attack people as being woeful and trying to belittle the very strong measures that have been taken on testing.’
Listing out examples of testing across Ireland, the Taoiseach concluded: ‘The plan today is comprehensive, and it deals with a whole range of areas, but fundamentally, it’s about keeping people safe, keeping jobs, and also in terms of quality of life; help and assist sports and the arts in particular notwithstanding the limitations of COVID-19 itself.’