Greens call for national unity govt to tackle Covid-19 as Sinn Féin brands UK approach 'dangerous'

Greens call for national unity govt to tackle Covid-19 as Sinn Féin brands UK approach 'dangerous'

The Green Party has called for government formation talks to be suspended.

Eamon Ryan said there needs to be a government of national unity to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The outbreak has split opinions in Leinster House on what should be done about government formation.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin wants things to speed up and his party will meet Fine Gael on Wednesday for further talks.

Fine Gael has also put aside its preference for entering opposition to engage in talks.

However, some question how wise it would be to have a change of administration in the middle of a national crisis, and have new Ministers trying to read into briefs on the fly.

The Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has called for the suspension of government formation talks in a statement this evening.

The Greens want a temporary government of national unity with, effectively, a war cabinet set up with representatives from all parties.

Mr Ryan has said it would minimize disruption for departments dealing directly with the crisis.

However, most other parties have dismissed the suggestion, arguing it would be better to set up a new government that could last for a number of years to deal with the coronavirus and its more long-term fallout.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has called for an “all-island” approach to tackling Covid-19.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and other party leaders in Government Buildings, Ms McDonald said: ”It is essential that we adopt an all-island approach to this crisis. The measures being introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19 will only work if they are in place on both sides of the border.

“I will be asking the Taoiseach to contact the British Prime minister on this issue as a matter of urgency."

Mary Lou McDonald described the British Government’s approach to Covid-19 as “dangerous”.

The Sinn Féin president called for an all “all island” approach to tackling Covid-19 -similar to what was done during the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001.

She said: “The approach being pursued by London is wrong in our view. It is dangerous and reckless.”

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