Operating safely through COVID-19

Commenting during this morning’s COVID-19 Dáil Committee session, which I chaired, Prof Paddy Mallon (Infection Disease Physician at St Vincent’s, Professor of Microbial Diseases at UCD) said, “We got away by the skin of our teeth.” He said, “There needs to be a recognition moving forward that we can’t operate safely with current staffing levels in the health services.”

Special Criminal Court

We need to have a meaningful discussion about the Special Criminal Court and the need for safeguards around the non-jury trial process, not just another rubber stamping by the Oireachtas. I discussed the issue with Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD and Sarah McInerney on RTÉ’s Today programme.

Extend opening of Shannon Heritage sites

In the Dáil today, I questioned Heritage Minister Josepha Madigan about the decision of Shannon Group to close its Shannon Heritage sites in the Mid-West from the end of August whilst keeping its Dublin sites open. To treat OUR heritage in that manner is disgraceful. Having met staff at the weekend, I will be meeting with management at Shannon Group to request them to reconsider the decision to close all its sites in Clare, Limerick and Galway from the end of August.

Shannon Heritage sites and Aer Lingus workers at Shannon Airport

In the Dáil, I questioned Minister Ross on why Shannon Heritage managed tourist sites in the Dublin region would remain open as Bunratty Castle, Craggaunowen, Knappogue, Dunguaire Castle and King John’s Castle close from the end of August. I also requested Minister Ross to use the influence of Government to seek to have Aer Lingus reverse its discriminatory treatment of its long serving Shannon based staff.