Posted on 7th March 2020

Slane Castle

Simon Harris, the caretaker Minister for Health, was saved the embarrassment of having a Motion of No Confidence in him being passed by the Dail, when the Taoiseach, a medical doctor and former Minister for Health, went to the Park to seek its dissolution.  These two now have primary responsibility for the safety and well-being of the nation.

In the face of Covid -19 are they fit for the challenge ?  For a start they might try telling the truth.  The Health Service is already in crisis and frankly if this turns into a major outbreak it will be in danger of collapsing.  Therefore, the government should be adopting as many measures as possible to reduce the spread of the virus.  So let me start with one bit of lunacy.  The rugby match with Italy this weekend has been postponed.  However, despite clear evidence that Northern Italy is a dangerous hot spot for the disease no effort whatsoever has been made to restrict inward travel from Northern Italy.  Of course, implementing such a policy would be difficult, but in times like this, difficult decisions will have to be taken.  Instead, in this instance because of their dangerously complacent attitude, they are allowing possibly infected people to enter the country this weekend and potentially spreading this virus around Dublin and its hinterland.  So then if in 2 weeks time clusters start to appear which can be traced to Northern Italian contacts, you will know who to blame.  This is serious stuff because this disease is a killer.  In all honesty I’m not really sure where this is going but the next few weeks will tell a tale.  It is hard to describe the state of mind of a person like me.  In this case I’m talking about a Type 1 diabetic, who is a lung cancer patient, with a compromised immune system.   Covid- 19 represents a particular danger, as it does to many others with similar conditions.  We are all worthwhile members of society and not to be treated as an inconvenient statistic in the sense that this is going to be OK as the majority can ride it out.

But back to the heart of the matter.  We as a nation are in the hands of a caretaker government and most importantly as far as Health is concerned, in  the hands of a Minister who lost the confidence of the Dail.  Facing into the most serious crisis we have confronted in a generation, surely we deserve a government capable of dealing with the challenge ahead.  When will the leaders of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens step up to the plate.  In the case of our caretaker Taoiseach he should try and redeem himself by dropping this farcical posture of “preparing for opposition”.  All concerned should be preparing for government.

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