*Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan. Photograph: John Mangan

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan (GP) was forced to cancel a planned trip to Clare on Friday after testing positive for COVID-19.

On Friday, Minister Ryan was due to hold a meeting with senior officials in Clare County Council and the county’s first citizen, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND).

Matters due to be discussed in this engagement included work on Greenways in West Clare and East Clare plus the continued need to support Shannon Airport as the aviation sector attempts to rebuild amid the pandemic.

Ryan’s visit was cancelled midweek with Green Party sources confirming to The Clare Echo that this was due to Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications developing cold-like symptoms.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport confirmed on Sunday afternoon, “Minister Eamon Ryan has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating at home. The Minister is following all HSE protocols. He has advised the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and the Secretary to the Government. Minister Ryan attended Cabinet remotely on Friday, so members of the Cabinet are not close contacts”.

In November, the Green Party leader caused confusion before attending COP26. An “inconclusive” COVID-19 test was initially reported as positive but a second test was negative which resulted in Minister Ryan travelling to Scotland for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Days previous, a statement had been issued which said the Dublin native had tested positive for the virus.

Speaking at the time, Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) said the episode weakened confidence in the testing system, “most people aren’t told which laboratory is going to carry out the test,” he remarked and added, “there are a lot of unanswered questions”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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