COVID-19 ‘literally floored me’ says Mary Lou McDonald

COVID-19 ‘literally floored me’ says Mary Lou McDonald

By Steve Neville

Mary Lou McDonald has opened up about her experience of having COVID-19.

The Sinn Féin leader confirmed she had tested positive the virus earlier this month.

She also said she had developed pleurisy in her right lung.


Speaking on The Late Late Show last night, she said she has “never been as sick as I was with it”.

She said: “Every part of me hurt, it hurt to open my eyes. My eye sockets ached.

“All of my nerve endings were hypersensitised, aches and pains all of that.”

She added that she was left exhausted, saying: “I couldn’t sustain a conversation - well I could but it required real effort.


So it literally floored me. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

She said the disease didn’t feel like a flu and that “this is a horrible, horrible virus.”

Ms McDonald said she did not have a consistent fever and had some respiratory symptoms “but not as aggressive coughing as I’ve heard other people report.”

When asked, she said that she was “at times” scared.


She said she was scared “of the unknown” and that it was 16 days before she got her test results back.

Ms McDonald said around the Easter weekend she started to get “the shortness of breath and stabbing pains in my right lung”.

She said her husband “wouldn’t know how to panic. But at that moment he panicked.”

The stabbing pains in her lung was later found to be pleurisy.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that Ireland has had another 37 deaths from Covid-19.

It now brings the death toll to 831.

However, the Department of Health has added a further 185 probable deaths from the virus over the past few weeks.

They explained that a probable death is a death where a laboratory test has not been done but where a doctor believes a death is associated with Covid-19.