I will of course join what I hope is everyone in the country tonight at 8pm as we applaud our doctors, nurses, lab assistants, raidographers, cleaners, caterers, pharmacists and all those who are keeping our hospitals and health services running and keeping people alive.
I hope when this is all over, they are somehow rewareded.
But you know, while not for a second diminishing the heroics of those in the health service who are risking their own health and their own lives to save others, I hope we don’t forget others who are also working away, trying to help us all get on with our lives.
There are the gardai and, largely behind the scenes for now, the army working away trying to keep us safe and protect us from, I’m sorry to say, idiots who appear to be determined to make this thing worse.
Behind the scenes though, there are thousands of civil servants – yes in the Department of Health but also in other departments too, putting in extraordinary hours, doing all the work that needs to be done to ensure we can make the changes we need to make.
There are bus and train drivers out there doing their work knowing they’re at risk.
Shop assistants too have to face customers some of whom clearly haven’t heard any of the warnings about how to keep safe and, more importantly, how to keep others safe.
Teachers are working away from home now sometimes teaching three or four classes at a time while also trying to look after their own children. It is extremely stressful I know because I know some of them and `I can see it.
Postmen and women and their colleagues in the sorting offices are working away bringing us communications from our loved ones and, well, bills too. But they help us to feel just a bit normal in these surreal times.
Truckers bringing goods to shops, delivery drivers bringing groceries to our homes, warehouse workers, butchers, bakers, farmers, the men and women working away in our utilities to make sure we have clean water and power.
Charity workers looking after the less fortunate for whom this crisis is worse than it is for the rest of us.
Council workers still keeping our cities and towns and villages running.
And the zoo. You could forget that the animals in Dublin Zoo and in Fota Island still need to be cared for in these difficult times.
I have been reminded to include air crews, airport staff, those working at sea and in ports. All vital to keep the wheels turning albeit a little bit slower than before.
And then there are those who work in broadcasting, still entertaining us (and occasionally depressing us with the news we need to hear). And I don’t just mean those whose names are well known to us all. I include all those technicians and behind-the-scenes crews who keep our radio and television stations on the air.
And excuse me for including those still working in my own trade, journalism.
I only dabble now because of retirement and illness. But I have many colleagues still working away and sometimes putting themselves at risk to bring us all the news we need to hear.
It is a long list and I’m sure there are those who have forgotten and for that I apologise.
And I know and acknowledge that when it comes to any list of heroes in this crisis, doctors, nurses and all those working in our health service are right at the top.
So applaud them tonight.
And applaud them tomorrow.
And applaud them every day.
They’ve kept me alive against the odds for a long, long time.
Now I hope everybody knows how wonderful they are.