Meat plant problem was brought to the attention of authorities months ago

In Agriculture, Blog, Health, Jobs, News, Video by Denis Naughten

Just three months ago, I was criticised for highlighting Covid-19 problems within the meat industry.

Those in authority were more interested in tacking the man than addressing the fundamental problems that were occurring right across the meat processing sector.

The risk posed within the sector arose due to the close quarters within which people work & live, the atmosphere for survival and transmission of the virus and the large number of asymptomatic positive cases (showing no signs of infection). Yet rather than deal with the significant Covid-19 risk the focus was on circling the wagons.

Inside Leinster House I was told to pull back, that I was going too hard and to stop drawing attention to these communities.

But it was not just in Leinster House, because how many media outlets highlighted the fact that Ministers had misled Dáil Éireann on at least three separate occasions regarding the facts surrounding the Covid-19 monitoring and testing in meat plants? 

I recall the sniggering by some of the very same people last March when I sought to ensure that under the new Covid laws Gardai would have the ability to shut down house parties. ( ) I was assured that they would and yet they remain a significant threat to a further outbreak of community infection.

While people may again snigger, or advise me to pull back, the reality is that the people and businesses of Offaly, Laois & Kildare are not sniggering today, they are not asking TDs to “pull back” and unless we act and act quickly we could see further lockdowns in counties across our country.