Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Executive communication “must be clearer” – South Down MLA

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Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

SDLP Executive Office Committee Chair Colin McGrath hosted a meeting with the First and deputy First Minister this week to seek an update on their response to COVID-19.

Mr McGrath pressed the Joint First Ministers, saying that citizens “need clear advice” and confusion must be avoided at all costs.



The South Down MLA told Newry Times, “I was glad to have the opportunity to engage with the First and deputy First Ministers today, and the Committee discussed a wide range of issues.

“I placed on record my thanks to our incredible health and other key workers, working tirelessly to keep us safe in the fight against COVID-19.

“I stressed to the Ministers that guidance coming from the Executive must be clear and easy to understand.



“I know that people are confused,” he continued.

“They want to abide by the guidance, but they struggle to understand what it means for them and their families.

“Given the fluidity and unprecedented nature of the situation, this is understandable to an extent, but the Executive must do much more to communicate effectively with the public.



“I was very clear that Ministers doing solo runs on television programmes at 11 pm is not helpful and adds to the confusion.

“I was glad the Ministers agreed with me that communication must be improved and advised the Committee that they would be providing central contact points for MLAs, to allow them to seek clarity on behalf of constituents.

The local MLA added, “This is welcome and will go some distance to support better communication.”




Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE


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