MÍCHEÁL MARTIN HAS SOME NECK. I tackled him today about the abuse of student nurses – 13 hour shifts, emptying bed pans, bathing and caring for people who can’t care for themselves – hard work! “SHOULD N’T HAPPEN” he says, all shocked and angry. Too right it shouldn’t! But it does. AND ON HIS WATCH. What bloody snakes we have in government; pretend outrage, blame someone else, and suggest the claims are unfounded. That the best you can do Taoiseach?

It’s not a coincidence that the profession that has to fight consistently for fair pay and respect is a profession overwhelmingly made up of women. Nursing is one of the most important professions, and yet, they have rotten conditions, and pay. Student nurses are particularly exploited, receiving a pitiful 50euro a week for their placements, despite their intense work on the frontlines. They have contracted Covid in large numbers, due to the high-risk nature of the work. And they still are expected to do it for free. This has to end now.

REFERENDUM IN MAY – NOT JUNE! This is the point Bríd made to Varadkar this morning. Students, who were out in their thousands on Saturday last, demanding bodily autonomy MUST HAVE A VOTE. By June, many of the students will have left the country to get Summer work. Varadkar is slippery though – says May is his ‘preference’. Well then MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS, TAOISEACH! You’re the leader aren’t you?