Irish businesswoman Marissa Carter says people are “getting angry now” about how the Government is communicating with the public.
Frustrated with the Government’s communications over COVID-19 restrictions, the Cocoa Brown and Carter Beauty CEO has started a petition urging the Taoiseach to ‘speak directly’ to the public and give a clear plan for easing lockdown.
She said she believes the lack of formal updates from the Government is showing a 'lack of respect' to the country.
It comes amid similar concerns from opposition politicians about the way key dates and information are being revealed in media interviews.
A revised 'living with COVID' plan is due to be unveiled tomorrow, but there was anger last week when the Taoiseach indicated strict restrictions could last until May.
On today’s Hard Shoulder, Marissa said it’s ‘fair to say’ she’s among many frustrated business owners.
She said: “At first, I thought I would write a letter to Micheál Martin and express my own frustration at the lack of respect I feel he’s showing the country by not giving formal announcements.
“I have about 120,000 followers on Instagram who share an interest in things like gardening, beauty, interiors… politics and government affairs are certainly not something I’ve ever discussed on my Instagram before. But I did express my frustration and anger at the very slow trickle of information.
“I received 13,000 responses from people saying that they felt exactly the same.”
Marissa said she decided to start a petition calling for a plan that is ‘definitive and measurable’, and that the public don’t want information ‘drip fed’ through media leaks.
Signatures rose quickly from 100 to 200 to 500, and as of writing have surpassed 2,000.
Marissa explained: “I have no political agenda whatsoever - all I want is to hear from the Taoiseach on a weekly basis. I want formal updates.
“How is there no formal announcement on the Government on this? How are they getting away with just casually throwing into conversation in radio interviews things that are going to affect people, and stress them out?
“How does the Government not have their finger on the pulse of the country? How do they not know that people are not just anxious but are actually getting angry now that we’re not hearing from the Government in a formal way?”
She said business owners need to give staff assurances, and said she’s also heard from many teachers expressing their frustration at how the plan for reopening schools is being unveiled.
Marissa added that the communications coming from the Government “just aren’t good enough”.