The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that “schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow.” In a press conference today in Washington DC, Varadkar made the statement saying: “From 6pm today, the following measures are being put in place, and they will stay in place until the 29th of March.  Schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow. Where possible, teaching will be done online or remotely. Cultural institutions will close as well.” The Taoiseach is in Washington DC for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

UCD management have called an emergency meeting today at in which various decisions will be made with regards to the closures. The University is expected to make a formal announcement to students and staff in the coming hours in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Varadkar went on to say: “Our advice is that all indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled. You need to continue to go to work if you can, but where possible you should work from home.”

The Taoiseach stated: “Acting together as one nation, we can save many lives. Our economy will suffer, but we will bounce back. Lost time in school or college will be recovered, and in time our lives will go back to normal. Above all, we all need to look out for each other. Ireland is a great nation. We’re a great people. We’ve experienced hardship and struggle before. We’ve overcome many trials in the past with our determination and our spirit, and once again we will prevail.”

Updates:

In in email to UCD staff and students, Deeks has stated UCD’s stance as the following: ”We have clarified that ‘closure’ means physical classes in universities will not be held during this period.  I expect to hear further details from the Department shortly and I have convened an urgent meeting of UMT to manage the implementation of this instruction. ”

 

More to follow…

 

Conor Capplis – Editor