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Cabinet isolating Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has tested positive for coronavirus

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Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue

Leinster House. Stock picture

Leinster House. Stock picture

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Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has tested positive for coronavirus, his spokesman has confirmed.

Members of the Cabinet, including the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, are now self-isolating as a result.

A spokesman for Mr McConalogue confirmed the Donegal representative has tested positive for Covid-19.

"He is self-isolating and is following all public health guidelines. He has displayed no symptoms and he will continue to self-isolate over the next period time."

The spokesman confirmed that Mr McConalogue tested positive this morning following a test yesterday.

Mr McConalogue (43) is one of the youngest of Micheál Martin’s line-up, and was recently in Brussels, being tested automatically on his return.

He wore a mask all through the Cabinet yesterday to approve new lockdown restrictions in light of a surge in cases.

He was later seen shopping in central Dublin, wearing a mask all the while. Mr McConalogue also stopped to talk with Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd, with both men wearing masks throughout.

A Government statement said: “A member of Cabinet has tested positive for COVID-19.

“In line with public health advice, all Ministers are restricting their movements while awaiting a Covid test and result.”

All Ministers are now being urgently tested today, with national ambulance service vehicles sent to their location.

Results are expected back later tonight.

Mr McConalogue was only appointed Minister for Agriculture on September 2, meaning he has been in the job less than three months.

All Government Ministers are now being urgently tested by public health officials, with the aim t get results back to individuals today.

A Minister, speaking on condition of anonymity, said arrangements for the testing of all members, including the Taoiseach, were taking place as a “precaution.”

However he added that while the infected Minister attended Cabinet yesterday, all Ministers sit more than two metres apart at Cabinet meetings, held in a large and ventilated room in Dublin Castle.

The chances of any more Ministers booming infected are therefore believed to be low, according to the advice given, the Minister added.

Minister McConalogue is believed to have spoken at Cabinet and was not displaying any signs of being unwell. It is understood he is not displaying any serious symptoms.

There was previously a scare in September when Health Minister Stephen Donnelly feared he had contracted the virus and the whole Cabinet went briefly into suspension while the Dáil was also suspended for a short time.


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