A former Lord Mayor of Cork has called on the Government to financially reward nurses for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cllr Des Cahill said that nurses and healthcare workers were working in "unprecedented working conditions and exposing themselves to huge risks".
More than 1,500 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in healthcare workers in Ireland since the beginning of the outbreak.
“When our Defence Forces proudly serve us overseas they receive special allowances which they deserve for the risks they are taking,” he said.
The city councillor said nurses also need just reward “as the highly qualified, skilled dedicated people they are who are literally putting their own lives at risk”, and said the Government and the HSE need to take proactive action to reward them.
“I have always supported nurses in their claims for fair pay. I don’t think we need to see a picket outside hospitals post-COVID when it is very likely that our healthcare system will be very busy with patients who presently are not visiting hospitals. I am urging the Government to take responsible steps now.
“An interim solution, before our nurses are given fair pay, benchmarked against international nurses pay, would be to give a COVID tax credit,” he said.