Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, has said that all flags should fly at half mast on May 1st as a mark of respect to those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and as a show of solidarity to those working to stop the spread of the virus on the frontlines.

Deputy Murnane O’Connor said the half-masting of national flags is a well-established procedure by which countries can bestow an honour and express a collective sense of sorrow.

She explained, “I have written to the Taoiseach and asked that he consider directing all public bodies to fly the flag at half mast on Friday May 1st. I believe it is a fitting way to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives and show solidarity with those they have left behind as well as the honouring those who are working on the frontline in the fight against this virus.

“My heart breaks for those who have had to watch from afar as their loved ones got sick and passed away from this lethal virus. They haven’t been able to celebrate the life of or mourn the death of their loved ones surrounded by family and friends as is so common of the typical Irish funeral.

“The virus has stripped us of a vital part of our grieving process, and this is just one small way in which we can express our solidarity with those affected in their time of sorrow. It also allows us to thank those who are on the frontline, putting themselves in harms way to take care of our loved ones.

“I hope the Taoiseach and the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht respond positively to my proposal and direct all public bodies to lower their flags,” she concluded.