Party leaders meeting to bring 'laser-like focus' to coronavirus outbreak

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary: “My understanding from speaking to Micheál Martin just now is that a meeting of all party leaders has been convened for this afternoon"

Party leaders meeting to bring 'laser-like focus' to coronavirus outbreak

Party leaders will meet this afternoon to discuss the Covid-19 health emergency.

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary said that the meeting would bring a "laser-like focus" to dealing with the outbreak.

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary
Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary

He added that a meeting of all party leaders will take place this afternoon.

“My understanding from speaking to Micheál Martin just now is that a meeting of all party leaders has been convened for this afternoon, so that there can be a laser-like focus across all parties on dealing with the immediate challenge of coronavirus.”

Mr Calleary went on to say that any government formed needs to deal with a host of issues, not just the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

He added that while there is a need for a government which is strong and stable to deal with the outbreak, the country still needs a sustainable government to tackle other challenges.

“What we need is a strong government and a sustainable government to deal with this issue, but we still have a housing crisis, we still have a climate emergency, we still have a health crisis on non-corona related health and we have major problems in regional development.

“What we need is a strong government with a sustainable policy platform to deal with those, as well as fresh energy around the cabinet table to deal with the coronavirus challenge.”

Mr Calleary said that his party will work closely with all parties “in a collective effort” to respond to the coronavirus and said that his party colleague Jim O’Callaghan’s support for a national government was “reflecting of the urgency” with which a government needs to be formed.

On the same programme, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald warned that there needs to be a seamless transition in the formation of the next government to deal with the coronavirus.

Ms McDonald said she could not do her job as the leader of a considerable political party if she was learning of plans through the media.

“We need to pull together now with concentrated leadership while the government is being formed.”

“It shouldn’t take a public health emergency to make Fianna Fáil realise they need to talk to all political parties,” she added.

“There is a need to recognise that there is a public health emergency, we need to work together.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999

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