Join Now

Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats, said that today’s announcement of localised restrictions in three counties highlighted the ongoing need to closely monitor all high-risk settings and called for increased scrutiny of working and living conditions associated with meat processing plants.

Deputy Shortall said:

“While this may be a sign that the testing and tracing system is working well in picking up cases, including those where people had no symptoms, the restrictions imposed in Kildare, Offaly and Laois this evening will still come as a blow to local communities and businesses.

“Outbreaks were to be expected as the country opened up and this shows that a rapid local response is essential to curbing the spread of Covid-19. Such measures will help maximise the likelihood that we will be able to open schools later in the month.

“However, the Government needs to ensure that there is rigorous testing and close monitoring of all high-risk settings, including food processing plants, workers’ accommodation arrangements and direct provision centres.

“We have known about problems with Clovid-19 clusters in the meat sector for some time and the Government must ensure that the industry takes responsibility for the provision of safe working and living conditions for their staff.

“The HSA has a key role to play in identifying at-risk settings and needs to ramp-up unannounced inspections of meat processing plants immediately.”

August 7, 2020

Back to all Posts