Meeting of Irish Government and Northern Ireland Executive Ministers concerning North South cooperation to deal with Covid-19

Date published: 14 March 2020

Senior representatives of the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government and their Chief Medical Officers met today in Armagh to review the current situation regarding the COVID-19 virus and how best to tackle the outbreak.

The Northern Ireland Executive was represented by First Minister Arlene Foster MLA, deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA and Health Minister Robin Swann MLA. The Irish Government was represented by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD, and Minister for Health Simon Harris TD.

At the meeting, detailed briefings were provided by the respective Chief Medical Officers, Dr. Michael McBride and Dr. Tony Holohan, and the very serious challenges to public health which are posed by COVID-19, North and South, were discussed.

All present recognised the challenging situation faced by the two jurisdictions sharing this island.  It was agreed that everything possible will be done in coordination and cooperation between the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and with the active involvement of the health administrations in both jurisdictions to tackle the outbreak.  Protection of the lives and welfare of everyone on the island is paramount, and no effort will be spared in that regard.

The meeting took place at the Secretariat offices of the North South Ministerial Council, in Armagh.

Notes to editors: 

. Detailed information and advice on coronavirus is available from

2. Media queries to DoH Information Office on 028 90 520575, or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

3. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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