Simon Harris says he was coughed at in public by people as a joke
"Can we please, as a people, just look at what's happening in Italy?"
Minister for Health Simon Harris has claimed that he was coughed at in public by a man and a woman as a joke.
Harris condemned this type of behaviour and urged people not to participate in anything similar.
Speaking on people coughing in others' faces on Wednesday morning, the Minister for Health said: "This happened to me yesterday actually as I was walking from here to my department and a man and woman on the street thought it was hilariously funny to come up and cough at me and run off laughing.
"Can we please as a people just look at what's happening in Italy? We're seeing several hundred people a day dying of a virus that could be deadly to certain people in our population."
Harris also said that he believes that it is part of some sort of social media game, where the act is filmed and then posted online.
"Just think if it was your own granny, granddad, mother or father. There's actually nothing amusing about it. It's quite pathetic."
Health Minister Simon Harris says targeting people in the community and coughing in their face as a joke is 'disgusting' and 'pathetic' | Follow live #coronavirus updates: https://t.co/5xl0IqJCmf pic.twitter.com/r22ozt30Fl
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 25, 2020
Harris' comments were made on the same day that a teenager in Waterford was arrested for allegedly coughing on people in public.