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Opinion: Brid O'Connell, 'The Guaranteed Irish Movement and #AllTogetherBetter has never been more important.'
16 March 2020|News, Opinion

Before Covid-19, we had the recession of 2008.

Many of us business owners, managers and decision makers, said we had never experienced the like of before. Every day we learnt a little more through the media, and every day it got a little worse and for some it was too much to bear. We miss those people in our lives.

We endured tough times and the legacy lives on (USC, homelessness, land grabs and greedy developers). However, from a distance we are perceived as a nation that worked together to pull ourselves out of the mess and it was through a collective sacrifice that our little country is thriving once again. Life has never been the same for most. However, it did pass and a new normality took hold. The world, albeit altered, did continue to turn. Covid-19 too will pass, but we must act together to make our people, our communities, our economy #AllTogetherBetter.

Over the years our sporting prowess has often been attributed to the ‘fighting Irish’. Our propensity for fun allows other nations look to us for entertainment- music, singing, dancing. Our success in competition leads to the universal phrase ‘The Luck of the Irish’- and then of course we have the Irish ‘craic’. As natural storytellers, we have evolved into Programme writers (think of Stripe), as carers who travelled on missionary work, we have evolved to the most sought after medical professionals across the globe; from our curiosity we have attracted the largest R&D and manufacturing pharmaceutical companies in the world. From our famine history, we have learned how to grow, produce and sell the best food in the world. Whatever way you look at it, Ireland is a great country. We are a resilient, intelligent and a caring society- sometimes we lose our way – but the universe gives us a prod and we come back to our roots. We “cop on” to ourselves (A unique Irishism!). We genuinely crave working together to help each other. And now, with the arrival of Covid-19, this has never been more necessary.

A statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team made on 12th March from Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The National Public Health Emergency Team and the Health Sector in its entirety has been preparing for the effects of COVID-19 on our population. “Now, we need citizens to follow these new measures and help us protect the most vulnerable in our society, help our health service treat this virus effectively and ultimately keep each other as healthy as possible.”

So, working together this time requires a real commitment from behind the scenes. Ironically to defeat Covid-19 together, we need to physically work apart where possible. But that does not mean we are closed for business- Ireland is open for business thanks to our progressive IT companies and our Agile working programmes. Our priority at this challenging time is to reduce the risk to our people, our clients and our businesses. Now, more than ever, we need to support businesses based in Ireland – they are all open for business- some in situ or some remotely- but regardless of their office location for the next month- they are all open for business. Make a conscious decision to support local (and by local I mean Irish based) today. If we aim to keep things as “normal” as possible, we can slow this virus down.

Our pharmaceuticals will continue to support jobs to manufacture treatments and research for cures- lets support these companies. Our food companies will continue to produce and sell – there will not be a shortage. We will not die of the hunger. Our teachers will continue to teach through laptops, phones, google rooms – our IT companies will continue to write programmes to facilitate this. Our telecom and connectivity companies will continue to ensure we remain connected – we must stay connected and informed. Our construction industry will work tirelessly to innovate to create temporary laboratories, hospital extensions and clean rooms for our hospitals to control the spread of this virus. Our medical and all front line personnel will continue to work tirelessly to care for us – our farmers will continue to grow food and care for their animal stock so we can continue keep these people nourished. In Guaranteed Irish we believe we have the power to affect positive change in the communities in which we live. The collective sense of agency is at the heart of why Guaranteed Irish exists. Lets support our businesses, our people and our communities because by working together, we are #AllTogetherBetter.

Opinion by Brid O’Connell, CEO Guaranteed Irish.