Social Democrats TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore has called for the Dáil to be reconvened next week to deal with the escalating COVID crisis. The Dáil is currently closed for recess and is due to reopen on the 15th September.
Reconvening the Dáil two weeks earlier will, says Whitmore “ensure that all public representatives are involved in the discussions and debate surrounding the recent major decisions that are being made”.
Deputy Whitmore also says…
“Right now we are entering a new crisis point with the virus yet, and people are becoming increasingly worried about the rising number of cases each day. It is important that as public representatives we have the opportunity to represent people’s worries and concerns to Government. However, the Dáil being in recess means that people currently don’t have the opportunity to communicate through their representatives directly to the Government.
“This is leading to a lot of confusion and frustration for people, heightened by the recent announcement of new Government restrictions this week. The announcement raised some real concerns as to the capacity of this Government to manage the pandemic into the future. There is a real sense of an information gap on the scientific and medical rationale behind a lot the decisions particularly that latest round of measures.
“Recalling the Dáil would allow representatives to seek further clarity on these new restrictions, reducing confusion and anxiety in the public while also voicing the potential issues different sectors will face as they try to adapt to a continuously changing business environment.
“School communities are also concerned, because what decisions are made now to manage the virus, will have a direct impact on the capacity for schools to provide a safe learning environment and further clarity from the Government would go a long way in alleviating the burden on schools. Children, and their parents, desperately need some certainty in their future as they transition to school but the information deficit is contribution to a lot of speculation and anxiety in the school communities.
“We know that it’s important that we work together to get through this crisis, but there needs to be more clarity over decision making and greater emphasis on the role the Government must play in particular, ensuring a fast and effective test, trace and isolate regime. People want to know where we are going with COVID and how to get to that point where we are in control again. Without this sense of security and effective communication between the Government and the public, our efforts to control the virus will not be enough” concludes Whitmore.