President Michael D Higgins: "Severity" of Covid-19 outbreak is "in our hands"
"The days ahead may continue to be difficult..."
President Michael D Higgins has shared a message for the nation ahead of the long Easter weekend.
He called on the Irish living at home and abroad to continue to adhere to the restrictive measures that have been put in place all around the world to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The President also paid tribute to those who were suffering due to the consequences of the virus, and those who are struggling to remain hopeful.
"Over the past number of weeks, all of us have awoken abruptly to changes in our way of life," he said.
"There is an uncertainty, anxiety and fear to be overcome as the Coronavirus takes hold in our communities. We have all been asked to take more restrictive measures in order to stop the spread of the virus.
"Measures that would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago and which have presented a challenge to our resolve, to our way of life, be it how we work or socialise with others."
President Higgins and his wife Sabina offered their condolences to those who had lost family members and friends over the past few weeks. He also thanked the frontline workers and essential retail staff who have been working around the clock to provide vital services to the country.
"Easter is a time of hope, of rebirth, of new beginnings," he said.
"That is what is central in the various religious services, the transcendence of suffering. Nature in its renewal offers us perennial hope as we deal with these difficult times.
"Just as the seasons change, this crisis, too, will pass, but its severity and magnitude are, to a large extent, in our hands."
President Higgins also asked the public to place a light in their window tomorrow night (11 April) "symbolising our shared solidarity and offering a beacon of hope in a time of darkness".
You can read Michael D Higgins' Easter message in full here.