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Statement from President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins following his signature of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020

Following his consideration and signing of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020, President Michael D. Higgins has released the following statement:

“As we enter a crucial period in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, may I again express my sympathies to all those who have lost a family member or friend, and my best wishes to all those who have been infected by the virus, all those who have not had the opportunity to express their grief, or offer their care and visits to those they love.

May I express, on behalf of the people of Ireland, our shared sense of sadness at the increase in the number of our people who have died as a result of the pandemic.

Behind the statistics we will hear, or have read, that there are families grieving and people in distress because they cannot meet their loved ones.

As we muster our resolve to be far more vigilant as we enter a most difficult phase of tackling the virus, it is appropriate for me to express my thanks to the Irish people for their response to the crisis, and urge them to stay the course and encourage others to do so.

So many people are continuing to do their best to keep us safe and to keep the country going, through their efforts in the health service, in public service bodies, in important social services, in shops and in pharmacies. It is appropriate that we, as a nation, thank them for their service by doing our bit, by complying with the HSE advice.

Extraordinary and difficult measures have been necessary as we try to stem the tide of increasing infection. The effects of those measures will become visible in the coming weeks.

The legislation is emergency legislation for a time of crisis. It is appropriate that it has time limits and leaves our constitutional rights in place.

These are difficult times, but our difficulties will come to an end. Let us make sure that, through the decisions and actions we take at present, we ensure the health and safety of each other, all of us together.

Beir beannacht.”


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