Now that the Government has closed schools and universities and childcare facilities, and put restrictions in place about mass gatherings, it might appear inconceivable that, immediately after identifying an in-situ case of Covid-19, the British government would have allowed Cheltenham to proceed.
But it did allow it to proceed, and apart from possible acceleration of potentially the worst pandemic of recent centuries, the message sent out is appalling.
It appears the sport of kings usurped by a modern elite aristocracy, with obscene displays of wealth, power and contempt, will take precedence over the health, welfare and livelihood of lesser echelons of society. Boris Johnson, the prime minister, was made by his steely determination to “get Brexit done”.
He may be just as quickly undone by what appears abject capitulation to “real power” in the land as revealed by his fawning decision to “let the horses run”.
The concern and steely determination so necessary in those who purport to guard the health and welfare of Irish people will be sorely tested and exposed by imposition, or otherwise, of mandatory self-isolation on the irresponsible, thoughtless and selfish betrayers of Irish health and safety, who wish to return from an identified location of the dreaded virus. We are told that to beat this pandemic, we must all pull together.
Those who recklessly travelled to Cheltenham have already pulled the other way.
This readers' opinion will be published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on March 13, 2020