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Lisa Smyth

Robin Swann will have to face down cynicism and fatigue

Lisa Smyth


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Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Scientific Officer Professor Ian Young pictured at a press conference at Parliament Buildings Stormont on Tuesday. Credit: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Scientific Officer Professor Ian Young pictured at a press conference at Parliament Buildings Stormont on Tuesday. Credit: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Ey

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Scientific Officer Professor Ian Young pictured at a press conference at Parliament Buildings Stormont on Tuesday. Credit: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Robin Swann hasn’t had an easy ride since taking up the post of health minister.

Of course, no-one thought it was going to be a walk in the park — the health portfolio is notoriously regarded as the toughest job at Stormont. However, it was impossible to predict just how difficult his brief would become.

After facing down the first deadly wave of Covid-19, Mr Swann was joined on Tuesday by the chief medical officer and chief scientific advisor at Parliament Buildings where they issued a stark warning over the spread of the virus. Using language designed to hammer home the threat facing Northern Ireland, the UUP minister said the region is in danger of “sliding down a very slippery and treacherous slope”.