Why the wall of silence over north-south Covid cooperation?

Whatever the reliability of the figures, it seems possible  that the Republic has been managing  Covid 19 better – or has been luckier- than Northern Ireland. Whether this can be accounted for by the incubus of UK delay and the complexity of a bigger country with an older average population will emerge from the inevitable spate of inquiries. But north -south coordination and  cooperation over phasing out lockdown would seem to be essential. And yet so little has emerged about it.

I’m completely puzzled. Fionnuala O’Connor ponders the theme this morning, without coming to firm conclusions. I’m on her wavelength.

I don’t know what to make of the fact that aside from politicians, calls for an all-island coronavirus plan were limited to a couple of experts.

Was this because all the others were inhibited by politics or didn’t think it mattered all that much? Or by March it was too late anyway? Equally odd is that the memo of understanding between the two sides has produced virtually nothing by way of joint cooperation over plans for easing lockdown and contact tracing and testing- rather the reverse. The North complains they received no notice of the south’s graduated lockdown release plan.  Maybe this will change over the next few days and weeks but I’m not holding my breath. We’re warned that  the north’s plan due imminently  may contain “ no dates” How will that work for cross border travel?

Why is there so little pressure to debate this properly, from the south as well as the north? Is  it because of fears it would quickly degenerate into a sectarian wrangle in the north? Or that the south is basically indifferent?

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.