Government unable to answer questions on Cross Border Covid Cooperation
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín, and Aontú Deputy Leader Cllr for Mid Ulster Denise Mullen are calling on the Irish government and Northern Executive to once and for all initiate An All Ireland Unit tackle Covid-19, as thousands of cases occur daily both sides of the border.
Tóibín: “I have asked the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign where is the locus of cross border cooperation on Covid. Is it in the Taoiseach’s office, the Minister for Foreign Affairs’s office or the Minister for Health’s office? Is there any structure or secretariat employed with the purpose of coordinating north south cooperation? What steps did they take to align restrictions with northern executive? I am yet to get an answer.
Mullins; The approach of the two authorities on this island has underscored the absence of cross-border institutions, and the complete lack of cooperation between the two authorities on this island – especially when the double whammy of the Coronavirus and a ‘No Deal’ Brexit are threatening to devastate the Irish people whatever county they are in.
The approaches of both authorities has been reactionary to one another, not harmonious. The announcements of the Northern Executive seem to shock the Irish government, and vice-versa. The absence of cooperation in the face of a common enemy could not be clearer.”
“There are huge disparities between the restrictions applicable depending on where you go in this country. You can’t attend mass in Cork, but can in Belfast. Why is there no All-Ireland bodies established to combat Covid-19? Why is there no All-Ireland taskforce? New Zealand has paved the way on how to utilise the natural advantages of an Island nation to combat Covid-19, if we were to unite to fight the virus, we could follow suit.”
Thousands of cases both sides are the border are announced every day – setting new records for Covid-19. Cross border trade is being hit hard, and the economy of Ireland as a whole taking body blows, whilst our people are scared. It is time for the powers that be to come together, present a united front, and unite the 32 counties together to combat Coronavirus. Together, Ireland can beat this virus back – divided, the path to beating the virus becomes far more treacherous.”