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Dr Ronan Glynn labels crowds drinking takeaway pints a "selfish minority"

Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has described those pictured at the weekend congregating in large crowds to drink takeaway alcoholic drinks as a “selfish minority”.

He expressed concern their actions would demoralise the “silent majority” in Ireland who were trying to abide by lockdown rules.

“Thousands and thousands of people see it on social media,” he said.

“Thousands and thousands of people who are trying to do the right thing see it and get demoralised, and find it much more difficult to justify why they’re sticking with the public health advice when they see the actions of a selfish minority, frankly, who are putting the efforts of everyone at risk.”

Frustrating and disheartening

Dr Glynn said the scenes were particularly “frustrating and disheartening” for older and vulnerable people who had been keeping contacts to a minimum in an effort to protect themselves from the virus

He rejected those who had claimed the way to stop a repeat was to reopen pubs and facilitate drinking in a more controlled environment.

“The reality is that alcohol and physical distancing and social distancing simply do not go together,” he said.

“And just because we’ve seen scenes like we did on the streets on Saturday night does not mean that the answer to that is to open up pubs.

“The answer to that is to appeal to people to protect themselves and others, not to go in to crowded environments, to do what we’ve been asking for months and months, which is to protect themselves, protect their families.”

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly plans to bring proposals to Cabinet on Tuesday to ban takeaway sales from pubs for the remainder of the Level 5 lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health confirmed five further Covid-19 related deaths and 456 additional cases in the Republic of Ireland today.