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Catherine Martin says "strong financial supports" needed with restrictions

The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin has said that the Government’s priority is to save lives, but that any measures introduced must strike a balance.

Obviously health has to come first, she said.

The public health advice was that unless steps were taken to reduce the level of contacts then the number of cases, people needing hospital treatment, and even deaths, would increase exponentially in the coming weeks, she said.

“We must stop the virus taking a hold of this country, we must prioritise saving lives.”

Strong financial supports

The Minister said she had huge empathy for businesses “already on their knees” but the health advice was compelling, she said and that was what the Government would have to follow.

“If the experts are saying there's a danger with people gathering, then we have to listen to the experts. The decisions we take now will ultimately save lives - that's where we are right now with this pandemic.”

Ms Martin said that many of the sectors she represents were being “horrifically impacted” by the pandemic and if a decision was taken for further restrictions then she would be seeking “strong financial supports”.