Michael Staines
Michael Staines

17.30 15 Sep 2020


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The Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has tested negative for coronavirus.

Minister Donnelly attended this morning's Cabinet meeting before he began feeling unwell.

As a result, the acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn was forced to restrict his movements along with the entire Cabinet while they awaited the test result.

That led to the Dáil being suspended, with the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl announcing that TDs would not return for a week.

He also claimed all senior ministers were self-isolating - something that came as news to some of the Ministers who were still working in their offices.

The Taoiseach then confirmed that the Dáil could return with Junior Ministers filling in for their senior counterparts.

The negative result means Dr Glynn and the Government ministers will now be able to end their isolation and return to work.


Meanwhile, opposition TDs have complained they were not kept informed about what was happening.

Sinn Féin TD Padraig McLochlainn said he had to rely on social media posts from journalists for information:

“There was no direction communication to us from the Government side to outline to us ideas about how we would deal with the schedule and where we were convening tonight,” he said.

“We had to rely on political correspondents who were clearly being briefed by Government sources while no whip in this house was being briefed.

“I think that is a very serious matter.”

Reporting from Seán Defoe


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