Sinn Féin TD for Donegal, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, has criticised the government’s failure to include Irish citizens vaccinated in the north in EU Digital Covid Certificate plans.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:
“Sinn Féin have been warning for many months now that Irish citizens in the north must not be left behind when it comes to the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme.
“The government said that they would ensure people vaccinated in the north would be included and just last month Minister Eamon Ryan insisted that this would definitely be the case. Yet, it has now emerged that they will not as the government has not implemented a way of processing vaccinations which took place in the north. This impacts on many people living in the south as well, including healthcare workers who would have been vaccinated via the NHS.
“This failure is just one of many unacceptable and repeated failures by this government to uphold the rights of citizens in the north.
“Irish citizens in the north were given the clear commitment that after Brexit they would be afforded the benefits which came with EU membership when it comes to freedom of movement. Inclusion in the EU Digital Certificate plans should be part of these rights. Irish citizens in the north must not see their rights further undermined due to Brexit.
“I am also concerned that these revelations are yet another example of this government’s utter lack of interest in all-Ireland co-operation throughout the pandemic. As we all know by now, the virus does not recognise borders and it is vital that we take an all-Ireland approach to managing the public health crisis. This government has continually paid lip service to this idea yet failed to deliver when it comes to developing key policies like this.
“I am calling on the government to act urgently and ensure that citizens who were vaccinated in the north are included in the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme.
“If this does not happen, Sinn Féin will raise this issue at the North-South Ministerial Council later this month to ensure it is progressed.”