Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar has heavily criticised the immediate suspension of the Dáil at a time where leadership and oversight is needed the most.

Tóibín: “The sudden announcement via the media that the cabinet was self-isolating, that the Dáil was shut down and that essentially now oversight and that the functioning of Irish institutions are closed – is absolutely wrong. Opposition TDs and it appears Cabinet ministers even found out via social media and Oireachtas TV. There was no consultation with the opposition, the announcement was made via the media, and the announcement was made by the Ceann Comhairle after being told by an Taoiseach”.

“The democratic functioning of the state is too important to operate in this manner. It is simply not good enough. Adding in this weeks’ suspension, follows a summer break which follows 150 without a government. A state without oversight is guaranteed to run into serious difficulties. The Nursing Home Crisis which remains without proper investigation is an example of what can happen when there is no scrutiny. Democracy is an essential services. It must operate as such”.

“However the opposite is happening. The governments is operating in a manner that is not open to even schools or work places. We have a job to do yet we are precluded once more from representing. This country faces crippling crises on all fronts be it healthcare, housing, cancer screening services, Brexit, Covid-19, the state of our democracy, childcare, education etc. It is simply not good enough that the government – special advisors and all – are gone missing when the Irish people need them most.”