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'I'd like to stay close to home' - McDonald postpones public events as kids go to school where coronavirus case detected

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Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has revealed her children go to the school where the first Irish case of the Coronavirus was confirmed.

In a video message posted on Twitter, Ms McDonald said she would be cancelling two Sinn Féin public meetings after it was announced that her children’s school was to close for two weeks.

She said it was a “very worrying time” for the school’s pupils, staff and particularly for the family of the child who contracted the virus.

Ms McDonald said she wanted to "stay close to home".

“Obviously we are following all of the chief medical officers advice and therefore the children have to be at home for the next 14 days,” she said

"I have had to reorganise everything all of my work schedule because of this and so the public meetings in Cavan and Galway this week will unfortunately have to be postponed but we will set a date for them again very very soon,” she added

She urged people to follow the medical advice and wash their hands as often as possible. Hundreds of pupils in Ms McDonald’s children’s secondary school were yesterday told to stay at home for two weeks after a student tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Sinn Féin said Ms McDonald would not be self-isolating for the next two weeks.

Parents received a letter from the HSE saying the school had been shut with pupils and staff put under active surveillance by public health doctors until March 16.

The student, the first person in the Republic to be diagnosed with the virus sweeping the globe, was being cared for in the isolation unit of the Mater Hospital in Dublin last night.

He caught the virus during a mid-term visit to one of the areas of northern Italy which has had the biggest infection outbreak in Europe.

Online Editors