Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has warned the Taoiseach that public concern is escalating over the Government’s absence of steeliness and commercial nous when it comes to the issue of securing vaccines.

He said: “When it comes to his meeting with President Joe Biden today, the Taoiseach should remember the old rural saying about how a silent curate never secured a parish.

“We are too anxious in the current circumstances to be seen as the good boys and girls of Europe and we are being too quiet with vaccine companies and Europe.

“The Taoiseach in this regard needs to look to his past and think of previous leaders such as Charlie Haughey and Albert Reynolds.

“In their time Ireland was known to be the cutest and toughest dealers in Europe. We were always the last to leave the room.

“Now, whether it is farming, or fishing quotas or vaccines we are at the back of the queue.

“The reason that public faith in the vaccination process is now at a tipping point is because we do not have a sufficiency of vaccines.

“In this regard the Taoiseach should note that Europe and Ursula Von Der Leyen have missed the bus. This reality means the Taoiseach needs to take a far tougher and proactive stance than the current one of waving his arms and waiting for Europe.

“This failure means all eyes will be on Martin’s first virtual meeting with the serially proclaimed best friend of Ireland Joe Biden.

“We expect that meeting to result in the acquisition of real vaccines from a country that actually has a vaccine mountain.

“Any failure to do so poses a real danger of accelerating the collapse in public confidence in our vaccine regime. That is hardly surprising for it is hard to maintain support for a vaccine programme that doesn’t have any vaccines,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565

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