Opposition Round on ‘Comical Donnelly’ as Dáil Pass New Quarantine Laws

Fianna Fail - Stephen Donnelly

The Dáil has passed new laws to enforce mandatory hotel quarantine for people coming into Ireland from high risk countries.

It means they will have to quarantine for two weeks in a state picked hotel upon entering the country.

The bill before the Dáil today is limited to mandatory hotel quarantine for high risk countries recommended by NPHET.

Despite that Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says it’s among the most restrictive regimes in Europe.

And he says more countries can be added at the government’s discretion

So the argument being made is therefore hotel quarantine applies only to these twenty states and I just want o assure the house that this absolutely not the case.”

The opposition looks set to fail with amendments to get that extended to all passengers coming here for non-essential reasons.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty says that’s the only approach that will work:

The only proper way to deal this is to ensure mandatory hotel quarantine for non-essential travel.”

While Independent TD Mattie McGrath doesn’t believe Minister Donnelly’s promises that this will do what it needs to:

I remember in the Iran war?….. in Iraq sorry, and ”Comical Ali” would come on every night telling us that we’re winnin’ the war, Saddam, and the bombs fallin’ around him.

”Minister Donnelly was the very same on ‘Claire Byrne’ …Comical Ali? ….. Comical Donnelly!’

The government is expected to win the votes on this legislation, but it may be weeks before it’s enforced.