Sinn Féin TD for North Kildare Réada Cronin says it is make or break in the locality’s fight against Covid-19.
Speaking after Kildare’s return to lockdown, Deputy Cronin outlined the anxieties felt by local businesses – already hanging by a thread – and called on government to give urgent and generous financial supports to protect them and their workers.
Teachta Cronin said:
“The virus outbreaks in our processing plants and Direct Provision are exposing the brutal effects of a politics that prioritises private profit over public health and human dignity.
“Neither the meat-plant conditions nor the dire situation in Direct Provision is news to the Government.
“Fine Gael, supported by Fianna Fáil, was warned time and again of the inherent dehumanisation and cruelty of our Direct Provision system.
“Yet, they ignored those warnings to pursue instead their politics of social distrust and division, where people with little are scrutinised and those with a lot are beyond proper accountability and examination.
“You simply cannot pack meat and pack people at the same time in a pandemic. Proximity might grow profit but it also grows infection spread. The priority in a pandemic has to be public and worker health, not profit.
“Local businesses are the heart of our economy. We have to keep that heart beating. They are now taking one for Team Ireland, so the government must provide urgent and generous support in the forms of grants, not loans.
“When people are drowning you throw them a life buoy, not the bill for its purchase. Sinn Féin has produced an excellent plan to support small local business with a mix of grants, allowances and waivers. I wish the government would look at it and learn from it.
“But the Government’s attitude to Covid in Kildare shows they haven’t learned a single lesson from the disaster in our nursing homes.”