President Michael D Higgins has told the Irish public that 'all of our efforts are making the difference' in the fight against Covid-19.
In a statement issued last night, President Higgins acknowledged that this is a crucial week as Ireland adjusts to the new restrictions brought in last Friday evening. He begins by saying '“In this crucial week, when we are being asked to take yet more stringent measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, may I take the opportunity to congratulate you and thank you for your solidarity and vigilance. All of our efforts together are making a difference. I am well aware that it is not easy, what we are asked to do.'
On one of the most difficult aspects of the situation, Higgins says 'We are being asked to keep our distance – from loved ones, from relatives, work colleagues, and from all those we meet on a daily basis and who give our lives meaning.
"The days ahead will be difficult, for all of us, but what a memory it will be when the virus has passed, to know that we gave of our best.
Let us not forget ever that we are not travelling through the darkness alone, but that we are on this journey together." https://t.co/dYi6gsxZnV
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) March 30, 2020
'For all of us, this is a difficult ask. For too many, it is extremely painful not to be able to be there for those who need them, and not to be able to share the grief of our families, neighbours and friends in these difficult times.'
Higgins goes on to pay tribute to those in the health services, the Defence Forces and An Garda Siochana, as well as those in 'food production and retail, and in our public utilities, continue, day in and day out, to deliver the products and services we have come to be dependent on.'
He concludes by saying: 'So much of what we are being asked to do now will bear fruit in the weeks that will follow. It is therefore important that we keep the faith, stay patient, and vigilant.
'The days ahead will be difficult, for all of us, but what a memory it will be when the virus has passed, to know that we gave of our best. Let us not forget ever that we are not travelling through the darkness alone, but that we are on this journey together.'
Last night's statement by President Michael D Higgins can be read in full here.