March 1, 2021
DUBLIN — Irish Taoiseach (“Prime Minister”) Micheál Martin announced on February 22 that lockdown measures were being extended through at April 5.
Some cabinet members are speculating that the lockdown may extend into May. Ireland has been under some form of lockdown for most of 2020 and all of 2021. The current Level 5 restrictions mean no visitors in private homes and no social gatherings. Gardaí national police are performing “house checks” to enforce compliance.
Residents cannot travel more than three miles (five kilometers) from their homes. Bars, casinos and all other “non-essential” businesses have been closed for almost a year. Restaurants may only offer delivery or carry-out. Prime Minister Martin said that schools will begin reopening gradually in March.
“I know that people are physically and emotionally exhausted by this pandemic,” Martin said. “It has placed enormous pressure on each of us.” Martin said the “B117 variant” is the primary reason for the lockdown extension. Irish citizens are no longer willing to cooperate.
Hundreds of people defied lockdown measures Saturday and gathered in the streets of Dublin Saturday afternoon. They marched towards the city center chanting “freedom” and “end the lockdown.” But the Gardaí national police diverted the crowd elsewhere. The situation escalated quickly when one protesters shot a Roman candle at police at point-blank range.
The Irish Times reported that at least 23 people were arrested. Prime Minister Martin said protesters showed “a complete lack of respect” for others making the sacrifice in complying with lockdown rules. He also condemned the “thuggish” behavior of the protesters who attacked police.
Lockdowns cause more harm than COVID-19
Nearly 55,000 medical practitioners and scientists signed the Great Barrington Declaration. It states that “current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.” There are at least 30 studies that conclude lockdowns do a lot of harm and very little, if any, good.
Ireland has the strictest lockdown measures in Europe and the fourth-most restrictive in the world, according to the Coronavirus Response Tracker. It was only a matter of time before the situation exploded in Ireland.
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