Donegal Aontú representative Mary T Sweeney has called on the IDA to join with Donegal County Council and others to use the facilities of closed factories in the county to make personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. 

The shortage of personal protective clothing is a serious concern for frontline and other medical staff as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.

Ms Sweeney told Highland Radio that consultant in Letterkenny Hospital had suggested that specifications for face masks should be published to allow them to be made locally.

She believes that bringing together local skills and IDA support would mean that factories such as Fruit of the Loom in Buncrana and others could be re-opened. “They are all kitted out for machinists and we have an abundance of machinists across Donegal from the days of Fruit of the Loom,” she said.

The Aontú rep re said it was imperative to try and protect frontline staff: “We still have fibre plants in Derry, now that there’s a prototype available lets bring people together to make it happen,” she said.