No decency! Leo Varadkars party gloats with tasteless vaccine tweet after passing UK

Vaccine passports are 'the wrong approach' says Davey

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Fine Gael tweet saying “Ireland has overtaken the UK in fully vaccinating our adult population against Covid-19” was met with a huge backlash, with some accusing the group of “gloating” over a sensitive issue. It included a table comparing the UK’s rate of 72.1 percent and Ireland’s 72.4 percent.

The party led by the Tanaiste, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, was immediately urged to delete the tweet as a mark of respect for Covid victims.

One man responded: “This is deeply inappropriate. Have you no sense of decency at all?”

A second wrote: “This should be removed, very silly tweet. We are better than this.”

And yet a third tweeted: “Didn’t realise it was a race.”

One disapproving woman said the tweet was in “very bad taste” and said the way in which Fine Gael was acting was as if the Covid vaccine programme was “some kind of game”.

A British social media user responded to Fine Gael by saying they felt “really pleased” about Ireland’s vaccine progress, but added that “competition isn’t between our two nations, it’s between vaccine and virus.”

The Briton told the party not to “cheapen” governments’ efforts to inoculate their populations by drawing comparisons.

Others dismissed the message as “juvenile stuff” and “embarrassing”.

Ireland’s Taoiseach, or prime minister, yesterday hailed the country’s “brilliant” vaccine rollout after it overtook the UK’s.

Micheal Martin praised those involved in the programme after the latest figures showed more than 5.8 million jabs have been administered.

It marked a significant turnaround for a country that experienced setbacks in the early stages of the inoculation process associated with the supply issues which blighted the EU.

In the spring there was speculation the UK might even move to donate surplus vaccines to Ireland later in the year to help it address the shortfall in jabs.

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But the Republic has since seen its rollout accelerate massively.

Mr Martin wrote on Twitter: “The vaccine rollout is continuing at great pace.

“Today we edged ahead of our nearest neighbours – a brilliant effort by everyone involved.”

However, his tweet was also met with responses similar to those directed at Fine Gael.

Mr Martin, the leader of Fianna Fail, was told his tweet was “distasteful” and an “immature swipe” at Britain, especially given the amount of dual nationals living on either side of the water.

Ireland has set up new walk-in vaccine centres which are drawing crowds.

On Saturday, as the long weekend began, long queues were seen at many venues.

Chief executive of Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid commended the uptake.

He said 800 people were vaccinated at the City West in Dublin within 90 minutes of the centre opening on Saturday morning.

Mr Reid said Ireland was on the “final countdown” to protection from Covid-19.

He tweeted: “We’ve been ‘blown away’ by attendances at walk in clinics.”

The soaring vaccine rate came as the country reached a less positive milestone yesterday.

There were also 1,427 new confirmed cases reported, taking the total number of Covid infections since the pandemic began to 300,000.

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