"These are difficult times, but our difficulties will come to an end" - President Higgins on Covid-19 emergency
"Let us make sure that, through the decisions and actions we take at present, we ensure the health and safety of each other, all of us together."
On Friday evening, President Michael D. Higgins officially signed the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020 into law.
The President released a statement to the public shortly before Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced new restrictive measures for the nation, expressing his sympathies to those who have lost loved ones in connection with the virus among all whom have been impacted.
“As we enter a crucial period in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, may I again express my sympathies to all those who have lost a family member or friend, and my best wishes to all those who have been infected by the virus, all those who have not had the opportunity to express their grief, or offer their care and visits to those they love," said the President.
"May I express, on behalf of the people of Ireland, our shared sense of sadness at the increase in the number of our people who have died as a result of the pandemic.
"Behind the statistics we will hear, or have read, that there are families grieving and people in distress because they cannot meet their loved ones.
"As we muster our resolve to be far more vigilant as we enter a most difficult phase of tackling the virus, it is appropriate for me to express my thanks to the Irish people for their response to the crisis, and urge them to stay the course and encourage others to do so."
President Higgins went on to underline that a wide range of people in Ireland are working hard to keep the public safe and keep the country functioning, citing those working in the health service, public service bodies, social services, shops and pharmacies.
"It is appropriate that we, as a nation, thank them for their service by doing our bit, by complying with the HSE advice," said the President.
"Extraordinary and difficult measures have been necessary as we try to stem the tide of increasing infection. The effects of those measures will become visible in the coming weeks. The legislation is emergency legislation for a time of crisis. It is appropriate that it has time limits and leaves our constitutional rights in place.
"These are difficult times, but our difficulties will come to an end. Let us make sure that, through the decisions and actions we take at present, we ensure the health and safety of each other, all of us together.