The former UFC champion has been fiercely vocal this week in his various messages calling for solidarity amongst the Irish public in observing governmental practices to help fight the virus, and doubled down on that stance following a public address by Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar.
It was announced on Friday evening that Ireland is entering a two-week ‘lockdown’ period, in which people are required to stay at home for the majority of the day and only permitted to leave their homes in instances of emergencies, for the retrieval of essential supplies like food and medication and for brief exercise within a 2km (1.2 mile) radius of their homes.
Further measures announced include expressly forbidding people over the age of 70 from leaving their home under any circumstances (again, unless it is an emergency) – but, as with any guidances such as these, they will only be successful if they are adhered to by the vast majority of the population.
In a video address released soon afterwards, McGregor expressed his approval of the regulations – and went as far as to call for the Irish military to supplement the work of the Gardai (police).
“Hello everyone, hello Ireland,” McGregor said. “We have now entered a more substantial lockdown and I am pleased to see it. You see, if you do not enter the game you cannot win it. We have now entered this game and with strict adherence to the methods, we will win. To the Irish public: we must abide by the legislations put forth tonight by our leaders: no more than two kilometres from home, no unessential travel and full closure of all non-essential business.
“Now more than ever we must abide by this and I pray for the health and safety of our country that we do. The fate of our lives and the lives of our loved ones depends on it.”
“Tonight our defence forces have been mentioned as a possibility in assisting our 15,000 gardai available – but only if necessary. However, it is necessary. I urge our government to utilise our defence forces alongside an garda siochana and for full 24-hour patrol. We can not go by chance here. Any less than full adherence to these newly put forth methods by any members of our society will not only be a mockery of what we are attempting to do here, it will put the rest of our great nation in danger.”
McGregor commands a huge following amongst Irish youth and has previously called on his supporters to obey rules regarding social distancing and preventative hygiene measures. He has also announced that he will be making a $1.1 million financial donation to Irish hospitals to help fund the purchase of personal protective equipment designed to safeguard the health of frontline medical staff.
Furthermore, he called for people to maintain their physical health with “small-space exercise programmes” and to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition to boost immune systems.
The crucial point, though, was for everyone of every age to just stay at home.
“You are doing your country an incredible deed by staying put,” he said.