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Dublin: 19 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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Mcdonald says she will not travel to US for St Patrick's Day 'due to current circumstances'

McDonald said earlier this week that she was staying close to home after a case of Covid-19 was confirmed at her children’s school.

Image: Niall Carson via PA Images

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald will not be travelling to the United States for St Patrick’s Day this year.

The party’s vice president Michelle O’Neill MLA will instead visit the US and attend several events in Washington. 

On Monday, McDonald said she was postponing meetings and staying close to home with her children after a coronavirus case was confirmed in a pupil at their school in Dublin.

The school subsequently announced it would close for two weeks. 

“We’re following all of the chief medical officer’s advice and therefore the children have to be at home for the next 14 days,” McDonald said on Monday.

“This is a worrying time for families and for the staff at the school, particularly for the family of the person affected and we wish them a very, very speedy recovery.”

In a statement this evening, McDonald said: “Due to current circumstances, I will not be travelling to the United States for St Patrick’s Day events this year.

“Sinn Fein Vice President and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA will make a short trip to the US and will attend several events in Washington.”

Speaking to the media today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that, as things stand, he will still be flying to the US on Tuesday for St Patrick’s Day. 

Last night, seven new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the Department of Health, bringing the total number of cases in the Republic of Ireland to 13. Three cases have also been detected in the North. 

Four of the new cases are males in the east of the country and relate to travel from northern Italy. 

Two new cases relate to females in the west of the country and are associated with close contact with a confirmed case. Previously, a family of four in the west were confirmed to have the coronavirus

The final new case confirmed last night is the first case of community transmission in the country. 

Community transmission means infections within a population are not imported from another virus-hit area or from another known confirmed case of the virus in Ireland. 

Includes reporting by Press Association

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