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Bonus finally paid to Covid frontliners

by Jimmy Rhatigan

STAFF at our local hospital was in extra high spirits today (Wednesday).

There were smiles all around as colleagues opened their wage packets with a difference.

Hey presto, the tax-free Covid Recognition €1,000 promised by Government to hospital and ambulance workers had finally arrived.

The gift was well deserved and hopefully will be enjoyed by those who so bravely answered a call to arms when an enemy struck.

It was a token gesture. 

A thousand times the sum forked out would not have been enough for the warriors of good health.

For circa two years St Luke’s General Hospital was a battlefield.

Nurses, doctors and extended teams of courage eye-balled a ruthless enemy called Covid.

The fight was an unfair one.

Professor Gary Courtney, Chief Cardiologist Michael Conway and their teams were well armed but they were at a huge disadvantage.

The enemy was invisible.

It was in that scenario that wonderful people of many abilities risked their own lives to save others.

Although Covid seems to have retreated, there is no official ceasefire, fighting is ongoing albeit on a smaller scale.


Saving a patient at death’s door or striving to make life as comfortable as possible for a man or woman with chronic Covid has its rewards.

The satisfaction of saving a life has to be God-sent.

Consultants, senior and junior doctors, catering department, paramedics, porters, household, x-ray staff and their comrades in the trenches delight in victory; keeping a parent, son or daughter or alive despite the best efforts of a ruthless invader.

In the beginning grateful communities prayed for health workers and afforded them public rounds of applause.

With respect, when you are jaded from continuous Covid shifts and deserve a rest the most fervent of prayers or enthusiastic hand clapping will not pay for a flight to sunny climes or a vacation in Tramore or Dunmore East.

Without out health workers we would be bunched. 

We should treasure and respect them.

And we would ask Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to ensure that the next time he promises to pay a deserved bonus that he should pay up or shut up.

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