‘It’s absurd’: McGregor’s virus rant
UFC superstar Conor McGregor has fired up at the Irish government’s over what he’s deemed as “absurd” restrictions.
As UFC president Dana White finally pulled the plug on the sport amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, despite talk of having an island ready to go for international fights, McGregor is doing his part at home.
McGregor is backing a campaign for frontline healthcare workers, having been enlisted by Killarney teenager Ian O’Connell, who is paralysed from the neck down after a cycling accident.
Raising money to support the staff at the ICU he was treated at, he quickly surpassed his original target of 1000 euros ($A1700).
Then McGregor chipped in with a 10,000 euro ($A17,000) boost.
“I just sent Conor a text asking if he could share the link to the GoFundMe page,” O’Connell told the Irish Examiner. “Within minutes he had donated. I was could barely talk when I rang him to thank him.”
The pair had met in 2017.
But despite opening his wallet, McGregor is concerned by a hypocritical attitude of the Irish government.
While Ireland has had just under 300 deaths due to the virus and just over 8000 infections, it appears the infection rate may still be on the rise.
Conor McGregor has gone political over Easter restrictions.Source:Getty Images
The Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar extended the country’s COVID-19 restrictions until May 5 but has admitted the government are working towards getting life back to normal.
This includes restrictions on travel during the Easter weekend.
But McGregor, arguably Ireland’s biggest sporting export, has taken aim at the government for not going far enough to flatten the curve.
In a series of tweets, “The Notorious” took aim at those still able to fly and catch ferries into the country despite the population being told not to travel for Easter.
McGregor called for local TV political correspondent Gavin Reilly to ask about airports and ferries.
Ask of our airports as well as sea, @gavreilly.
Not once has our airports (where the virus came from) been queried.
We must have answers. We must see action. It is not too late!
CLOSE OUR PORTS FOR ALL NON ESSENTIAL, IMMEDIATELY!!!
Reilly tweeted a response during a press conference.
Ferries and airports: "We have checked this out – the umber of people coming in by ferry is really minimal; numbers coming in by flights is down 95%… but it's something we'll keep under review… it's something we have to monitor and monitor very closely"
Dublin Airport also replied to McGregor’s original tweet and said the government’s policy is that it is “open as an essential service for import/export of cargo such as medical supplies & the repatriation of citizens” and are following policies set by governments, which is the same as airports around the world.
We have fewer than 1,000 passengers today & that includes both arriving & departing passengers, & those on transit flights, who don’t get off the aircraft. Usually over 100,000 passengers per day at Easter. Govt sets policy re airports & it has said we’re an essential service.
After his answer, McGregor didn’t appear pleased by the response, calling for the government to stop travel in and out of the country.
“In response to An Taoiseach. People who have travelled to beach homes in advance of Easter, have not been asked, but told to stay put! Such is the danger of this virus. With heightened Garda (police) presence to make sure of it,” he began.
“The people you have quarantined with. It is not even safe to move with them. Your beach home or wherever you are MUST REMAIN YOUR HOME. You make the case for the severity of COVID-19 by enforcing this, and our great public has abided, yet then in complete contrast to this you are allowing passengers enter in and out freely. Through both air and sea. It makes no sense. It is the equivalent of attempting to push and pull at the same time. Everyone, wherever they are, must remain where they are. Be it abroad. Or on soil. Even more so abroad.
Conor McGregor is a proud Irishman.Source:Getty Images
“It is that simple. Nothing but essential supplies and personnel to come through. We need full closure of all our entrance channels. Everyone must remain put for the foreseeable future. Everyone is ready, and have been ready, to do this.
“By leaving the airports open for general use, while restricting everything else, is without any disrespect, absurd. To do it one way yet leave another open, with the one being left open where the spread originated from, makes no viable sense.
“If a holiday family home is a place people cannot leave and must now make their home, then so too must those aboard. Everyone must chip in here and make wherever they are, their home. 100% of our airports and ports must be closed. Essential medical supplies and personnel only.
“I would say food maybe also but I dislike saying this for the most part. We have the best of everything here. We can produce, supply, and serve every need from this great island. In fact, food = no go also. For now. All ports must close. Medical supplies + medical personnel only.”
The response to the rant has been mixed
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