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‘I was distracted watching Man United’ – Labour leader Alan Kelly apologises for not wearing mask on public transport


Alan Kelly photographed on the LUAS

Alan Kelly photographed on the LUAS

Alan Kelly photographed on the LUAS

Labour leader Alan Kelly has apologised after the emergence of a picture of him not wearing a face mask while travelling on the Luas.

Independent.ie has obtained a picture of the Tipperary TD travelling on the Luas Green Line on Tuesday night. Mr Kelly is seen in the picture not wearing a face mask or covering.

The Labour leader apologised on Wednesday morning and said he was distracted while watching Manchester United’s Champions League encounter against RB Leipzig.

In a statement, Mr Kelly said: “I am a strong supporter of all the public health guidelines and rules, and always endeavour to wear my mask where required. My track record on calling for clear guidelines around mask-wearing speaks for itself.

“While getting the Luas home last night I obviously inadvertently didn’t have my mask on for a period and I want to apologise for this mistake.

“I was distracted while watching the Man United match on my phone and adjusting my headphones at the same time.

“We all make mistakes. Sorry.”

The picture has emerged the day after Mr Kelly called on all TDs and Senators to sign a Labour pledge to support the rollout of the Covid vaccine, the public awareness campaign and to take the Covid vaccine themselves.

The Tipperary TD has been to the forefront of campaigning on various issues around Covid-19 and in recent weeks has been challenging the Government on its plans to roll out a vaccine, including calling for a Vaccine Minister.

He has been a strong advocate for face masks, heavily criticising the last government for the “chronic disaster” in communications around wearing them.

He told the Dáil in June: “Nobody should get on public transport without a mask, full stop. People should wear masks in retail outlets to protect workers. They deserve respect and to be protected.”

In October he said the Government needed to be clearer in calling on the public to wear masks instead of visors.

“We have to communicate to the public and get across the difference between bloody visors and proper masks. There is a huge difference. I have stressed it for a week to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health. We really need to deal with this and we need to practice what we preach in here,” he told the Dáil.

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