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Mick McCarthy isolating following neighbours' coronavirus diagnosis

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20:52 23 Mar 2020

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy says he's isolating at home as two of his neighbours have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The 61-year old made the admission in a plea to Ireland supporters to "stay safe and stay apart".

Ireland were due to be in Bratislava on Thursday for a Euro 2020 playoff with Slovakia. But with all football on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, McCarthy is concentrated on more important matters.

The manager told FAI.ie, "I am back home in Bromley and isolating as two of our near neighbours have been diagnosed with coronavirus and it is now very real and very frightening for us.

"Like so many others, we are trying so hard to play by the rules here and stay at home. My wife Fiona and I are not seeing our children or our grandchildren and it’s tough.

"We are doing what the authorities are telling us and that is the message I want to send to everyone in Ireland today. Let’s do as we are told – let’s ensure we listen to the guidelines so that we don’t end up like Italy."

McCarthy will now have to adhere to a three-week lockdown imposed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday night.

He's asked that the Irish public do all they can to stay safe amid the crisis, "Please do as the HSE, the Government and the Gardai are telling you. Do it for yourself and for others. We all need to be vigilant now, for our own health and for everyone else.

"We cannot take a chance with this.

“When the government say don’t congregate in numbers, then please listen to them. When they tell you that it is better to stay at home, listen. Keep your distance.

"No matter how young or old you are, do as they ask - for all our sakes."

The playoffs are tentatively pencilled in for June, with the Euros themselves taking place next summer.

McCarthy says it's right that thoughts turn away from football for now, "Football will come back when the time is right and we have resolved all these issues.

"For now, we have to take notice of what’s happening in Ireland, in Britain and across Europe and the world.

"We have to take heed and learn the lessons. When you see the sacrifices our doctors, nurses, medical teams and frontline services are making, when you see the work they are doing, we have to say thank you and we have to play our part.

"Let’s do this together. Let’s stay safe."

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Boys In Green Coronavirus Covid-19 Euro 2020 Hse Ireland Mick McCarthy Republic Of Ireland

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