August 20, 2020
Covid-19 briefings for TDs needed urgently – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Minister for Health to ensure that opposition group leaders and health spokespeople are regularly briefed on the Covid-19 situation and the Government’s response.

He has also expressed concern about HSE staff relying on media reports to interpret public health measures, rather than internal information.

Teachta Cullinane said:
“There is little clarity on the Government’s approach to tackling Covid-19. Across the country, people are despairing at the incoherent, chaotic and confused messaging from the Government. Covid briefings for TDs are needed urgently.

“I have again written to the Minister for Health requesting that he ensure that opposition group leaders and spokespersons on Health are regularly briefed by advisory experts on the Covid-19 situation and response.

“We have yet to receive any formal communication from Government on the new measures announced yesterday.

“Constituents, both individuals and businesses, are contacting their local TD in the hope of knowing what is going on.

“As of yet, we are unable to provide that clarity. This is an unsettling situation and we are all being left in the dark.

“I am also deeply concerned that when contacted by one of my Sinn Féin colleagues about clarifying the new measures, one HSE manager said he was basing his information off media reports he had read.

“This is deeply concerning and suggests that even internally, there is confusion about what the new measures are if staff are relying on media reports rather than internal information.

“The incidence rate of Covid-19 in the population is alarming and we need to know the facts.

“It is a disservice to the people for their representatives to be kept in the dark and locked out of the process. This is a national emergency, but it is being treated as a party-political matter.”

Note to editors: A PDF of the letter is available to view at this link

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