SINN FEIN leader Mary Lou McDonald has opened up about the “very strange feeling” of discovering she had contracted COVID-19.
The politician made headlines across Ireland after become one of the country’s first major political leaders to test positive for coronavirus.
Thankfully, Ms McDonald has since gone on to make a full recovery though the experience of the virus left her understandably shaken.
Speaking on The Late Late Show, the Sinn Féin leader said that despite feeling more ill than she had ever previously felt in her life before she still felt lucky because she was conscious of the fact there are others “who were a lot sicker than me in hospitals and ventilators”.
“I have never been as sick as I was, every part of me hurt, it hurt to open my eyes, my eye sockets ached,” she told Ryan Tubridy.
“I could not believe this virus came into my house, we have no clue as it how it happened,” Ms McDonald added.
“I now fully understand what a frightening prospect this virus is for an older person or anyone with a serious underlying condition.”
Ms McDonald told The Late Late Show host she is “feeling grand and very, very lucky” though she admits she was “scared at times”.
Though she refused to directly criticise the government’s handling of the crisis, she did note shortcomings in the way nursing homes have been dealt with.
She also reiterated her belief that that Sinn Féin had a role to play in the formation of a new government and that she could yet serve as Taoiseach.
She also described Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s refusal to engage with Sinn Féin as “arrogance” and “shameful” in the current public health emergency.
She said: “These two parties have held power for almost a century ... they are not going to give ground easily.”
Though Ms McDonald admits another election is unlikely in the present climate, Sinn Féin would defend and build on the seats it won in any future vote.