Táinaiste Leo Varadkar has denied that Michéal Martin said the Level 5 restrictions would last until May, in an apparent contradiction of the Taoiseach’s Irish Mirror interview last night.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has claimed that Taoiseach Micheál Martin “did not say” that Level 5 restrictions would last until April or May.
Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Varadkar said that the country was facing tough restrictions into April, and that this was widely known.
“He [Martin] didn’t say that we’re going to have a Level 5 lockdown for 9 weeks, or that it’s going to go on until May.”
Interviewer Bryan Dobson put it to the Táinaiste that the Irish Council For Civil Liberties had said that the leaking of a further 9 weeks of “severe restrictions” was “deeply dysfunctional” and “incredibly disrespectful”, and asked if it was acceptable for the Taoiseach to communicate with the general public in this way.
Leaking news of nine weeks of severe human rights restrictions, without an official announcement, is deeply dysfunctional and incredibly disrespectful. It illustrates just how poor the government response to the pandemic has become:https://t.co/GKAmigT0ll
— ICCLtweet 🏳️🌈 (@ICCLtweet) February 19, 2021
The Tánaiste denied that this is what happened, asserting that the Taoiseach “never said that in fairness to him.”
In the Irish Mirror interview last night, Taoiseach Michéal Martin said that “We are looking at a continuation of severe restrictions certainly right into April”, adding that this was the earliest they could be lifted, and could possibly last longer.
Here's a clip from @ciaraphelan_ 's exclusive interview with Taoiseach @MichealMartinTD where he reveals 'severe' restrictions are to continue until the end of April – video – @Mark_Corco pic.twitter.com/SxG7AVz3rM
— Irish Daily Mirror (@IrishMirror) February 19, 2021
Mr. Varadkar also denied that communications issues were being caused by the “three government parties vying for attention and advantage.”
“I don’t think so…We are all working together, but what we are doing together a lot of the time unfortunately is communicating bad news.”