THE President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, has paid tribute to the country’s essential workers.
President Higgins was interviewed on last night’s Late Late Show on RTÉ.
In a pre-recorded interview, conducted at Áras an Uachtaráin, President Higgins hailed the graft of the many workers on the frontline leading Ireland’s fight against the spread of Covid-19.
“To think that of all those infected, 34% are people who are delivering themselves into the shadow of Covid every day and I thought not only of them but they have to leave home and their families behind,” he said.
“And the others who stand behind, the people who do the cleaning, the postmen who go from house-to-house. These are the essential workers, society couldn’t function without them.”
President Higgins said the coronavirus pandemic and the increased important of such workers gave a chance for everyone to reflect on some key issues.
He said: “We pay tribute to them and thank them but we wouldn’t just want to leave it that.
“We have to ask ourselves a question – have we underrated the contribution of this most important part of our lives?
“We need to follow through and look at how they are remunerated, their security and the conditions they are asked to work in. So that is why it is appropriate that we are discussing this in front of the Starry Plough, a monument that celebrates workers.
“Is it not the case that care work wasn’t given the same status as other work and wasn’t remunerated enough?”
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) May 29, 2020