I hope you and your friends and family are safe and well. Fear is everywhere in the air with the Coronavirus and the only antidote to hand is hope in the power of collective action to help us through these difficult times.
I am proud of the work our parliamentary team has done over the last week, assessing what needs to be done to support our health system and thinking ahead how we manage the massive shock coming to our society and economy as we take on the epidemic.
We have also been talking at length to each other and to other parties about Government formation, knowing we have to make our decisions in the national interest. We are considering every option and arguing first and foremost for real collaboration between all the parties in response to the health crisis.
We agreed yesterday morning to ask for the help of our members by looking for you to feed-back your response to some questions, which may help inform our decision-making process. We intend sending these questions by email early next week and I look forward to your comments.
We had also planned to hold a series of meetings with our members, but they have been cancelled so we are looking instead to organise some online forum discussions, which I expect to start later next week.
Finally, we will be asking all our public representatives, local groups and indeed our members, what can we do as a party to address the crisis at the local as well as national level. We are well resourced with scientific knowledge and an interest in crisis management but our real skill as a party might be to help design the community and economic response our country is going to need. We should put our thinking caps on in that regard and then get to work as best we can.
I might leave you with a quote from the poet Mayo Angelou, which my own Constituency Group Secretary Maire O’Higgins used to start a Dublin Bay South meeting last Monday. ‘Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.’