'We are being asked to have some respect for frontline workers': Criticism of planned Cork anti-lockdown protest

'We are being asked to have some respect for frontline workers': Criticism of planned Cork anti-lockdown protest

People part in a demonstration against lockdown restrictions organised by the People's Convention in Cork city centre, Ireland. 

THE second anti-lockdown protest planned for this Saturday in Cork city has been criticised by a city councillor, who said it will not achieve anything aside from putting vulnerable people at risk of infection.

Speaking to The Echo, Labour councillor John Maher said the planned gathering annoyed him.

“I get it,” he said. “I want to meet my family, I want to enjoy a pint, I want to go to the beach and on holidays, but I am mindful of vulnerable people in the community that are not vaccinated.

“We are being asked to listen to the advice of Nphet and have some respect for the frontline workers, many of whom are not vaccinated, such as gardaí, pharmacy staff and supermarket employees.”

The protest is set to begin at 2pm on Saturday at the National Monument on Grand Parade, where the protesters will march down Patrick Street to a rally outside Brown Thomas ,which will be addressed by a number of speakers and musicians, all demanding an end to the lockdown.

Speaking on behalf of the campaign, Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said the event has two aims: “Firstly, people are demanding an end to the lockdown. It is having no impact on the virus and is causing more harm than good, both to our health and to the economy.

“Secondly, people want a public health service that treats all illness, not one focused on Covid-19 and neglecting other killer diseases.”

Mr Ó Cadhla also made claims that the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is distorting the facts about Covid-19.

“We are being given half-truths, which is the same thing as a lie,” he said.

In a statement to The Echo, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said attending an organised event is not a reasonable excuse to travel outside your home.

“The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended, are currently in force.

“Regulation 8 places restrictions on individuals organising relevant events outdoors. This is a penal regulation.

“Regulation 4 places restrictions on travel outside the home except for a reasonable excuse. This is a penal regulation.

“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Regulations and Guidelines, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives.”

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