Government and ferry operators have questions to answer

10 April 2020

Labour Party Leader, Alan Kelly TD, has slammed the decision to allow hundreds of UK citizens holiday in Ireland for the Easter break.

Deputy Kelly said:

“The images of dozens of cars with UK registrations arriving at our ports over the last few days is rightfully enraging so many people across Ireland.

“Questions need to be asked as to why the same level of oversight being used on Irish citizens this weekend doesn’t apply to those who have entered our country this weekend with the intention of holidaying.

“Irish people are doing their best at the moment to stay at home, do their bit to stop the spread of Covid-19 and it is incredibly infuriating to see hundreds of people come to our shores with the intention of visiting our top tourist towns with absolutely zero regard for the health and wellbeing of Irish citizens.

“We know that the UK are taking such a different approach to us on stopping the spread of Covid-19, the infection is spreading there at a much larger rate and contact tracing there is minimal.

“People I am speaking to today are absolutely outraged by this and it sets such a bad example for Irish people trying their best to weather the restrictions that have been put in place by the Government.

“Why are the Government allowing so many people pass through our ports and airports with the intention of holidaying, while at the same time rightly asking our own citizens to stay at home? This double standard is incredibly irresponsible.

“Companies such as Irish Ferries and Stena Line should not be taking bookings as this time for non-essential travel. Surely, they can tell by their passenger data if large groups of people are looking to travel by car and have a return date within the next week that it is for leisure purposes rather than essential business travel to maintain supply chains.

“This is completely unacceptable. The Government and ferry operators need to work together to stop this carry on to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of our people.”

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