Monkeys remind Micheál Martin of politicians during Dublin Zoo visit

Monkeys Remind Micheál Martin Of Politicians During Dublin Zoo Visit
A macaque and her baby at Dublin Zoo, in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photo: PA Images.
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Dublin Zoo reopened on Monday morning, as Ireland took its next gradual steps out of Covid lockdown.

A crowd up of to 60 people had gathered outside the gates of the zoo as it reopened to the public, along with other visitor attractions and outdoor sports facilities around the country.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin visited the Phoenix Park facility before its reopening on Monday morning.

Dr Christoph Schwitzer, director of Dublin Zoo, gave the Fianna Fáil leader a whistle-stop tour, including a visit to the lions’ and tigers’ den.

After stopping off to see a group of macaques swinging from ropes in its enclosure, Mr Martin remarked how it “would remind you of the parliamentary party”.

He was also introduced to Luca, the Siamang gibbon.

Mr Martin will later this week consider easing further restrictions next month as golf courses, sports pitches, tennis courts, zoos, wildlife parks and pet farms all reopened this morning.

Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 also resumed on Monday, while the number of mourners permitted to attend a funeral increased to 25.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will meet on Wednesday to consider the latest Covid-19 data before making its recommendations to Government.

The Taoiseach is to unveil the reopening plan on Thursday, which is to include outdoor sports, non-essential retail, hairdressing salons and religious services.

For the summer, I think that outdoor has to be the theme

“We’re going to examine that for May and we hopefully will be able to do something on that in terms of May,” Mr Martin said on Sunday.

“But we understand the danger of indoor.

“For the summer, I think that outdoor has to be the theme.

“We just need to keep the pressure on this virus as we vaccinate… because the impact of the vaccines is transformative in terms of reducing mortality, reducing severe illness and indeed transmission as well.”

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