President Michael D Higgins has warned that "irresponsible individual action puts all at risk".
He urged all citizens, given the emergency situation, to respond in a generous way to the HSE's advice on measures to alleviate the spread of Covid-19.
"These new health and social measures may be difficult for many, but they affect us all and we are at a point now when a person's actions have consequences, not only for themselves but for all in society," he said.
Mr Higgins added that: "We must draw on our strength now.
"Future generations, it is my belief, will look back at this critical time and I hope that they will be proud of how we as a society rose to the challenges together, with different generations taking account of one another."
He said that, as President, he deeply valued the connection he had experienced with young people around the country, and he appealed to them to spread the word among their friends of the importance of that "which we have been asked to do". "Many of the older people, of whose generation Sabina and I are a part, and to whom I have spoken, have been very appreciative of the large numbers of young people who are helping them, and that such assistance is offered in such a caring way that addresses issues of our older citizens that go far beyond the delivery of necessary groceries or food," he said.
Mr Higgins, meanwhile, has signed into law emergency legislation relating to the Covid-19 crisis.