Micheál Martin says Stephen Donnelly's "trampoline" interview "wasn't his best" 1 month ago

Micheál Martin says Stephen Donnelly's "trampoline" interview "wasn't his best"

"It wasn't Stephen's best interview, he knows that himself. He did other, fine interviews."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that the interview where Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly compared kids returning to school during a pandemic to "jumping on a trampoline" wasn't "his best".

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During Virgin Media's The Big Interview, the Taoiseach said that Donnelly "knows himself" that the interview wasn't the best, adding that he did other "fine" interviews.

"Well, I think let's be straight, there have been many interviews. And, there has been a lot of pressure on people and so on, and I think overall we've done well on Covid-19," he said.

"It wasn't Stephen's best interview, he knows that himself. He did other, fine interviews."

When asked about mixed messages from Government during the pandemic, Martin also admitted that there were challenges surrounding communications.

"Early on, yes," he said.

"Look, I think the central messages were actually fairly clear and straightforward in respect of Covid-19, and it was a fast-moving situation in terms of different restrictions being brought in at different times, different developments.

"I mean, what we've learned from Covid-19 is there are many twists and turns."

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In an interview with Virgin Media last year, Donnelly compared the risk of sending kids back to school in the middle of a pandemic, to that of driving a car or "jumping on a trampoline".

The Minister for Health was asked how he can justify putting 30 children in a classroom together while Ireland's Covid cases are rising.

He replied that there are things in life that "inherently carry a risk", and often they are just things that have to be done.

"We manage risk in our lives," he said at the time.

"Every time we get into a car, driving a car is an inherently risky thing to do. So we have seat belts, and we have rules of the road.

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"Playing sports in an inherently risky thing to do. Our children being on trampolines is an inherently risky thing to do."

When pressed on whether the pandemic is a greater risk than playing sports or driving a car, Donnelly said that it is "not necessarily" the case.

The Big Interview will air tonight on Virgin Media One at 9pm.