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People who gave during pandemic 'entitled' to bank holiday - Fine Gael TD

A Fine Gael TD says those who gave during the COVID-19 pandemic are 'entitled' to a holiday for t...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.59 27 Sep 2021


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People who gave during pandemi...

People who gave during pandemic 'entitled' to bank holiday - Fine Gael TD

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.59 27 Sep 2021


Share this article


A Fine Gael TD says those who gave during the COVID-19 pandemic are 'entitled' to a holiday for their efforts.

Louth Deputy Fergus O'Dowd says the day could also be to commemorate those who were lost.

He told The Pat Kenny Show there is agreement around the idea.

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"I think what the Tánaiste said [is] that the Government want to do it, the public servants and indeed people in the private sector who gave so well, they're entitled to it.

"The public want them to be looked after - so the question of the timing... it's better if it fell into this financial year.

"But that's not the most important thing: I think the main thing is if we can all agree first of all.. that we ought to have a day to commemorate all of those who passed during the pandemic - and remember that it's not over yet.

"I think it should be separate [to a pandemic bonus payment] and it could be a special day, it could be a special bank holiday.

"I personally wouldn't have any problem with that, I think we need a national day to commemorate and remember all of those who lost loved ones".

On the option of a pandemic bonus payment to frontline workers, Deputy O'Dowd says they will be doing something.

"Obviously a bonus involves a budgetary decision, and it means that the Government have to make decisions.

"I think it's exceptionally clear that the Government are committed to doing what is appropriate and what is affordable - obviously - is hugely important.

"I think this ia a time to consult with the unions... and the public sector, and recognise that we will be doing something, and to find the most appropriate way that we can all sign off on".

The Government has previously said that rewarding the entire public service would cost around €1bn.

While the INMO's Tony Fitzpatrick has said regardless of any society-wide bonuses, healthcare workers should get "special recognition" - similar to what has happened in other jurisdictions.

He told Newstalk they are still "running on fumes" due to the intensity and traumatic nature of their work during the pandemic.

"We've tried to engage with the HSE since last November - they’ve been dilly-dallying.

"The Government has been dilly-dallying - now it's blowing up in their face as they come up to the budget", he added.

People who gave during pandemic 'entitled' to bank holiday - Fine Gael TD

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Main image: Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd TD arriving at a party meeting in January 2020. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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