Our battle against Covid-19 is not over according to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
He was speaking at a National day of Remembrance and Reflection Ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin city today.
The ceremony was part of Ireland's national day of commemoration for those who lost their lives to Covid and the efforts of workers, volunteers and the public.
Representatives for frontline workers and families of those who died laid wreaths in the cruciform pool in the garden.
The Tánaiste attended the event in place of Taoiseach Michael Martin who contracted Covid-19 in Washington this week.
During his address, Varadkar paid tribute to those who died during the pandemic as well as the frontline workers, essential workers and volunteers.
"We do so in the knowledge that the pandemic is not over, not in Ireland nor around the world. Our battle with this virus continues," he said.
There are 1,185 people in Irish hospitals with the virus today. 49 of these are in intensive care.
Today we remember all those who lost their lives due to CoVid & their families & friends who grieve for them. Ar dheis dé go raibh a hanamnacha.
It’s also an opportunity to give thanks to all those on the front line who led our response. You showed us Ireland at its best.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) March 20, 2022
In his address, the Tánaiste also offered solidarity to the people of Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion of their country:
"We cannot let this solemn occasion pass without reflecting on the immense human tragedy unfolding as a consequence of the war in Ukraine.
"The Irish people are resolved to help them in this time of need."