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'It is very real and very frightening for us' - Mick McCarthy urges Irish public to heed Covid-19 warnings

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Mick McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Mick McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has delivered a message to the Irish public during the present coronavirus crisis, insisting: "Let's do this together. Let's stay safe."

McCarthy, speaking to FAI.ie from his home in England, urged Ireland supporters to respect social distance guidelines as laid down by the government and think of others in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ireland were scheduled to play their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia in Bratislava on Thursday night, but that game has now been rescheduled for June.

"I should have been on the training ground at Abbotstown with the players today, getting ready for Slovakia and working on shapes and game plans," McCarthy said.

"Instead, I am back home in Bromley and isolating as two of our near neighbours have been diagnosed with coronavirus and it is now very real and very frightening for us.

"Like so many others, we are trying so hard to play by the rules here and stay at home. My wife Fiona and I are not seeing our children or our grandchildren and it’s tough.

"We are doing what the authorities are telling us and that is the message I want to send to everyone in Ireland today. Let's do as we are told – let's ensure we listen to the guidelines so that we don’t end up like Italy.

"Please do as the HSE, the Government and the Gardai are telling you. Do it for yourself and for others. We all need to be vigilant now, for our own health and for everyone else. We cannot take a chance with this.

"When the government say don’t congregate in numbers, then please listen to them. When they tell you that it is better to stay at home, listen. Keep your distance. No matter how young or old you are, do as they ask - for all our sakes."

McCarthy added: “We were in Amsterdam for the Nations League draw three weeks ago this Tuesday and Covid-19 was a topic of real interest – now it is a pandemic and it is spreading so quickly.

"Someone sent me the Patient 31 video on WhatsApp from Virgin Radio in Dubai and it is frightening how one woman may have infected thousands of people.

"It is very real now. You look at the footage of the Italian Army carrying coffins from houses and it shows you where this could end up. That's the threat this poses.

"Postponing our game in Slovakia and delaying the Euros for a year was the right thing to do. We are not complaining about that, not at all. It was the right decision by UEFA and we fully support it.

"Football will come back when the time is right and we have resolved all these issues. For now, we have to take notice of what’s happening in Ireland, in Britain and across Europe and the world.

"We have to take heed and learn the lessons. When you see the sacrifices our doctors, nurses, medical teams and frontline services are making, when you see the work they are doing, we have to say thank you and we have to play our part. Let’s do this together. Let’s stay safe."

Online Editors