He said that Ireland will have an opportunity to reflect on how frontline workers are treated after the coronavirus pandemic.
President Michael D Higgins has said that Ireland needs to look at how we pay frontline workers and how their dedication during the coronavirus pandemic is repaid.
Speaking on The Late Late Show in a prerecorded interview in front of Áras an Uachtaráin's Starry Plough monument, Higgins said that post-coronavirus, Ireland will have an opportunity to reflect on how frontline workers are treated.
Higgins said it would not be about blame, but rather "reminding" one another about that which hasn't been given sufficient attention about what is the nature of work.
"To think that of all those infected, 34% are people who are delivering themselves into the shadow of the Covid every day and I thought not only them, but they have to leave home and leave their families behind," Higgins said.
“And the others who stand behind, the people who do the cleaning, the postmen who go from house-to-house. These are the essential workers, society couldn’t function without them. We pay tribute to them and thank them but we wouldn’t just want to leave it at that.
"These are the essential workers in society, without whom society couldn't function. I said in my statement, We're paying tribute to them, and we're thanking them, but we wouldn't want to just leave it at that.
"I think we have to just ask ourselves a question. Have we underrated the contribution of these most important parts of our lives?"
Clip via The Late Late Show