Video: Taoiseach condemns flight grounding, reopening timeline, women gets suspended sentence

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Kenneth Fox

Piracy in the skies

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Belarus was a “state-sponsored coercive act”.

Mr Martin said it was “piracy in the skies” and reflects a growing authoritarianism across the world.

Belarus state media said the aircraft — which was travelling from Athens in Greece to Lithuanian capital Vilnius — was switched to Minsk following an alleged bomb threat.

Authorities in Minsk arrested activist and blogger Roman Protasevich.

Reopening timeline

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the reopening of major sectors over the next two months will be “steady”.

The Government is to make an announcement on reopening plans on Friday, with much anticipation around dates for travel, indoor hospitality and live events.

Mr Martin said the Government will try some events next month and then decide on what is possible in July.

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Two Cabinet meetings will take place later this week when the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (Nphet) latest public health advice will be considered.

66-year-old gets suspended sentence

Supporters holding placards with slogans such as "Granny's won't be gagged" have cheered a 66-year-old year old woman after she walked free from a court in West Cork with a suspended sentence and a fine for her refusal to wear face masks in shops.

Margaret Buttimer was jailed for the weekend following a hearing at Bandon District Court last Friday. She had refused to wear a mask in the body of the court.

She had appeared before the court for refusing to wear a face mask at Dunnes Stores in Clonakilty on February 12th last. She was found guilty of the offence of not wearing a mask in the store in breach of Covid 19 regulations.

Pilots protest over international travel

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association has urged the Government to end its delay in reopening international travel, and introduce rapid antigen testing for airline passengers.

It comes as hundreds of pilots staged a demonstration outside the Dáil over the Government’s “procrastination” on the reopening of international travel.

Members of IALPA handed in a four-stage plan, outlining how the aviation sector can be safely reopened.

The association, which represents more than 1,000 Irish pilots, warned that any further delay will put aviation jobs at risk.

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