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McDonald tests positive after being 'very unwell for weeks'

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Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has become the latest high-profile person in Irish public life to be struck down by coronavirus.

She confirmed last night she had tested positive for the illness and warned others: "You do not want to get this virus."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Eamon Ryan, of the Green Party, were among politicians who wished her well in her recovery.

Ms McDonald joins other well-known people like broadcasters Claire Byrne, Ryan Tubridy and Dr Ciara Kelly who have come down with a dose of the virus.

Sinn Féin had been at the forefront of calling for tougher restrictions to be imposed on everyday life in the early weeks of the Covid-19 crisis.

The party postponed some of the public meetings it had planned after the election.

One of the first cases of coronavirus in the country led to the closure of Ms McDonald's children's school at the start of March.

She missed a Dáil sitting earlier this month, tweeting at the time that she was "under the weather" and she was staying at home and "taking all necessary precautions".

Ms McDonald was tested for coronavirus on March 28 but only received the results on Monday. She said her doctor told her she is "no longer infected or infectious", adding: "This is a great relief after weeks of being very unwell."

Ms McDonald also said she had a setback in her recovery at the weekend after developing post-viral pleurisy in her right lung.

"I am on medication and responding very well, and I fully expect to be back at work next Monday," she said.

Ms McDonald thanked people for their good wishes, as well as medical staff and carers, and said: "My thoughts and solidarity are with everyone who is sick at this time.

"My sympathy is with every bereaved family. I am heartbroken for you.

"My appeal to everyone is to stay safe, stay home and stay apart. You do not want to get this virus."

Irish Independent