Good day for Ireland but time for politicians to ‘knuckle down’ – McDonald

The Sinn Féin president was reacting following the lifting of the majority of Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland.
Good day for Ireland but time for politicians to ‘knuckle down’ – McDonald

By Rebecca Black, PA

Mary Lou McDonald has welcomed the lifting of most Covid restrictions in Ireland as a “very good day” but said politics now needs to get back to work.

The Sinn Féin president was reacting following the announcement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin around the lifting of the majority of Covid restrictions.

She also paid tribute to the public for their efforts.

“People will still have a level of caution because of course the virus is still here, it’s nasty, you don’t want to catch it, so there are still precautions that need to be taken, but it’s very clear now that vaccination, that boosters and above all else, I want to pay tribute to the community at large, the general public, our frontline workers, our carers, our young people for whom it has been a really, really difficult two years,” she told RTÉ.

Coronavirus – Thu Jan 20, 2022
A woman passes a mural of a frontline worker in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

“People really have been incredibly responsive, incredibly responsible, and it is time now to get back, not to normal because I think we have to learn the lessons from the pandemic in terms of our health service, housing need which is chronic for so many people.

“Politics now needs to get back to business, we need to knuckle down and there has to be delivery for people and I too think particularly this evening of those families who lost loved ones over the course of what has been a very difficult two years, and I think we need to learn the lessons of everything we’ve been through.

“It’s now time to get back out, get back to work, get back to life and in some respects to pick up the pieces but in a broader political sense to start driving on and to deliver the kind of change our people deserve.”

Mrs McDonald also emphasised that support payments are needed to help businesses restricted over the last two years to rebuild.

“This is something that we’ve raised consistently with government in the course of this emergency,” she said.

“It’s very important when people couldn’t go to work, when businesses could not open their doors that the state supported them fully, and it’s very important that there isn’t a cliff edge.

“This is something we need to keep under constant review.”

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