Threat and danger of second lockdown ‘always present’

Threat And Danger Of Second Lockdown ‘Always Present’
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Press Association
Taoiseach Micheal Martin has warned the State is in a “fluid” situation as the Government tries to avoid another lockdown.

Mr Martin said that as the number of Covid-19 cases rises, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is “constantly wary” of moving closer to further restrictions.

It comes after Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that the country is at  a “tipping point”.


Mr Martin said that while efforts are made to try and avoid a second lockdown, he warned that the “danger and challenge is always there”.

Speaking in Limerick, Mr Martin added: “In fairness, the situation in relation to NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) – they’ve given us advice which we’ve adopted and we’ve implemented, and obviously the way the numbers are going, NPHET are constantly wary of that prospect.

“The reason we adopted the measures last week was to make sure we don’t get to that situation, but it’s fluid.

“The big story this week is the reopening of our schools. A million people, between students and teachers, coming back into our schools.


“We have been visiting schools different days to see the extraordinary work of teachers, SNAs and school management.

“It’s really very good stuff to see the contribution that they have made to enable children to return to our schools.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Brian Lawless/PA)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Brian Lawless/PA)

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach described his conversation with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen as “warm”.

The pair focused on the successor to Phil Hogan, he added.


“I’ve met Ursula von der Leyen, particularly in the context of councils, (she’s) a very straightforward person,” he added.

“I think she appreciated the fact that at no stage did I seek at any time to influence her in terms of any deliberations in relation to this matter, or in fact there was no contact prior to yesterday’s decisions.”

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said his intention is to continue leading the Fine Gael party.

Asked if he would like the role of an EU commissioner, Mr Varadkar said: “My intention is to continue to lead my party, to work hard in my job as Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and to become Taoiseach again in 2022.”


He went on to describe Mr Hogan as “a good colleague and very good friend”.

“He is somebody who I reappointed as head of government, as commissioner because he did such a good job in his previous role,” Mr Varadkar added.

“But the situation developed as it did. He was given an opportunity to explain his whereabouts and his movements within Ireland and to confirm that he had been following the public health guidelines and unfortunately over a period of days it transpired that he had not.

“Ultimately this was a decision that was made by President von der Leyen, not one by the Irish Government.

“I think it was the right decision in the end but of course lots of regrets.”

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