Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan has called on the government to take "a calculated risk" and to start easing some of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Mr O'Callaghan told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, that he was not criticising the advice being given by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
It was Dr Holohan’s job to advise the government, but the government must take other factors into account when making decisions.
"No matter what we do, there will be risks,” he said, pointing out that the Italian Prime Minister had said that calculated risks have to be made, “we have to take a calculated risk. We have to take other factors into account.”
It was never the intention of lockdown to stop people getting sick or catching the virus, it was so hospitals and ICUs would not be overwhelmed, added Mr O’Callaghan.
“We're being exceptionally cautious.”
The government needed to take other factors into consideration, he said, such as the impact of the lockdown on children, the elderly, mental health, domestic violence and the economy - which is not just about money, he added, it was about putting protections in place “so we can look after people.”
Mr O’Callaghan said he fully respected the advice that Dr Holohan had given to the government, but the government had to take other factors into consideration.
Ireland's planned phases go through until August 10, he said, while Spain is going to reopen in June. Everyone understood that there cannot be large congregated crowds for some time, but there is a need to expedite the lifting of some restrictions, he said.