Diarmaid Ferriter: Border is a Covid factor that must be grasped

To suggest nothing can be done about it is an awesome admission of political failure

Bridgend village in Co Donegal, the most direct crossing into Derry. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Bridgend village in Co Donegal, the most direct crossing into Derry. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Last Friday, microbiologist James McInerney of the University of Nottingham told RTÉ radio he was not “wishing to point out the obvious, but Ireland is an island: it can be sealed”. The alternative, he suggested, was rolling lockdowns not just for this long year but into 2022.

McInerney’s is one of multiple voices pointing out what they see as obvious, but it is an argument swatted away by Government Ministers who point to Nphet’s disinclination to advocate a zero-Covid strategy and the oft-cited “political sensitivities” around closing the Border.

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