The Social Democrats have renewed their call for the Dáil to be reconvened next week following the resignation of the Minister for Agriculture and ongoing public disquiet over the Government’s confusing messaging on the latest Covid-19 restrictions.

Catherine Murphy TD, co-leader of the party, said:

“The resignation of Minister Calleary is symptomatic of the contradictory messaging and widespread confusion that has followed Tuesday’s announcement of new restrictions.

“The days following the announcement have been characterised by a bizarre television appearance by the Minister for Health and clarification after clarification from various Government departments.

“Since the Dáil went into recess at the end of July, the Government has lurched from one crisis to the next. We have had three counties in lockdown for the past fortnight and it now looks likely that the Cabinet will act on NPHET’s recommendation to extend localised restrictions in Kildare for another two weeks.

“In addition, there are serious concerns over the fairness of the Leaving Certificate results and parents and students also need reassurance that schools and colleges can still safely reopen as planned.

“The confusing messaging on the latest restrictions raises questions about this Government’s ability to manage the pandemic and safely reopen our damaged economy.

“Unless there is a coherent approach by the Government, there will be severe implications for our health service, education system and general economy.

“The events of the past 24 hours highlight the need for all relevant Government ministers to come into the Dáil and clearly explain what the strategy is for dealing with this crisis.”

August 21, 2020

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