Aontú Cautions Cabinet Against overly Aggressive Restrictions
Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín TD has cautioned the Cabinet against overly aggressive restrictions. He stated;
“Public Health is of primary importance. We must reduce the prevalence of this illness and protect the most vulnerable. We support the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, working from home where possible and washing of hands”.
“Over the last few months we have called on government, the HSE and Nphet to research of the cost of these restrictions in terms of mortality, morbidity, mental health and the damage they are doing to society. Yet 7 months after the start of the Covid, no research has been carried out by the government”.
“Capacity in the treatment and diagnosis of Cancer, heart disease, stroke and mental health has been significantly reduced. This will have a devasting effect on so many families across the country. Hospital Avoidance is increasing again. Excess deaths because of non Covid reasons maybe out number Covid deaths by the end of the year. The government simply does not know. Not knowing this information means that the decisions of government are not evidence based”.
“Restrictions are a major driver of poverty. Small to medium sized business are being wiped out. Lower income families and younger people are hardest hit by restrictions. Poverty is a direct cause morbidity and mortality. Precious little research has been carried out by the government into these effects either”.
“Ireland is already an outlier in European terms in relation to restrictions. There are three countries where there are no public Christian services. Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Ireland. Sports coaches and trainers have told us about the devasting effects the cancelation of sports had on young people in the early part of this year and of the massive morale boost that happened with training started again. We are calling on the government not to close down GAA championship one of the few remaining lights left in this darkness. We oppose the closure of schools throughout the country again due to the massive costs to children and families that this entails”.
“Many people are complaining of people gathering in public spaces. Restrictions don’t delete human activity they just displace human activity into different places. Many towns were full over the weekend because so many other activities were shut down”. Resistance to restrictions is far higher now that in was in April and amazingly many people who seek tougher restrictions are not even adhering to level three restrictions. Future restrictions will me harder to maintain”.
“When we ask the government why there are fewer restrictions in other countries with more Covid-19 cases than in Ireland we're told they have more Health and ICU capacity. Yet after 7 months of talking about nothing else but Covid & an €18bn budget its incredibly frustrating that the government have hardly moved the dial at all in terms of extra ICU beds. As a result, society remains the front line in the battle against Covid-19 and not the health service”.
“There is a crescendo of panic and fear this weekend. Calm is now needed at cabinet. Covid is a significant threat. But we have to learn to live with this illness. There is no exit plan in this government’s current Yo Yo Covid strategy other than waiting for a Vaccine which could be some time away yet. We need a policy that is high on protecting the most vulnerable, personal responsibility, hospital capacity and income supports and cautious in terms of aggressive restrictions.