PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has called on the people of Ireland to show “solidarity, care, compassion and kindness” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking in a special message issued six months after the Covid-19 outbreak began, the President called on the public to do their “almighty best” to help slow the spread of the virus.
In order to do so, Mr Higgins believes Ireland requires "positive commitments from us all".
The evening address saw him encourage the public to envisage the "light that will surely come from all of our efforts when renewed and redoubled".
President Higgins urged the Irish people to follow government guidelines and protect other, more vulnerable members of society in an "act of good citizenship".
"I believe that we must now, with our schools reopened, muster a fresh determination to give our efforts, as the late John B Keane might put it, 'our almighty best'."
The President of Ireland acknowledged more should also be done to address the "loneliness being experienced by those who have been cut off from contact with those who previously sustained them.
“We must acknowledge and address the loss of the social, economic and recreational practices that were their links to life."
Though admitted breaches of the public health advice designed to fight back against Covid-19 had “damaged” social cohesion in Ireland, he urged the public not to let these errors " dislodge us from our common purpose" of suppressing the virus.
Looking further ahead, President Higgins acknowledged that life in Ireland after Covid “must have care as a central purpose” with compassion the watch word for the future.
President Higgins also urged the public to avoid “cold language that invokes fear” adding that “Doomsday” spiel was unhelpful in the fight against coronavirus.
He concluded: "Let us all agree that the greatest act of appreciation we can show towards all those workers taking risks on our behalf in essential services, day and night, is to re-double our efforts to avoid infection. Let's do that together."