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President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins released a statement on 20th March.

In the context of respiratory etiquette, regular hand washing and especially physical (social) distancing, The following is an abridged version of that statement in Irish and English:

Mar Uachtarán, impím ar gach saoránach, i bhfianaise na héigeandála maidir leis an dúshlán tromchúiseach roimh ár sláinte phoiblí, freagairt ar bhealach fial do chomhairle Fheidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte i dtaca le bearta chun scaipeadh Covid19 a mhaolú. 

D’fhéadfadh go mbeadh deacracht ag cuid mhaith daoine leis na bearta nua sláinte agus sóisialta sin ach tá tionchar acu orainn go léir agus táimid ag pointe anois nuair atá iarmhairtí ag gníomhartha duine, ní hamháin mar a bhaineann sé leis féin, ach do gach duine sa tsochaí. Cuireann gníomh aonair mífhreagrach gach duine i mbaol. Ní mór dúinn leas a bhaint as ár mbuanna anois.

Amach anseo beidh na glúine atá le teacht, creidim, ag féachaint siar ar an am géibheannach seo agus tá súil agam go mbeidh siad bródúil as an mbealach a thugamar faoi na dúshláin le chéile agus glúine éagsúla á gcur a chéile san áireamh.

Déanaim achainí ar dhaoine óga an scéal a scaipeadh i measc a gcairde faoin tábhacht a bhaineann lena bhfuil iarrtha orainn a dhéanamh. I ngach glúin beidh eisceachtaí ann maidir lena bhfuil le déanamh ar mhaithe leis an bpobal. Tá  súil againn go bhfuil deireadh tagtha le hiompar a chuireann gach duine i mbaol.

As President, I am urging all citizens, given the emergency of our situation in relation to the grave challenge to our public health, to respond in a generous way to the HSE’s advice on measures to alleviate the spread of Covid19.

These new health and social measures may be difficult for many but they affect us all and we are at a point now when a person’s actions have consequences not only for themselves but for all in society. Irresponsible individual action puts all at risk. We must draw on our strengths now.

Future generations, it is my belief, will look back at this critical time and I hope that they will be proud of how we as a society rose to the challenges together, with different generations taking account of one another.

I appeal to young people to spread the word among their friends of the importance of that which we have been asked to do. In every generation there will be exceptions to what is being sought in the public interest. Let us hope that we have seen the end of such behaviour which puts all of us at risk.