Conor McGregor wants Irish military to help enforce coronavirus lockdown

Conor McGregor has urged Irish politicians to utilize military forces to make sure people adhere to the lockdown enforced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, UFC star McGregor pledged to donate 1 million euros (more than $1 million U.S.) worth of protective equipment to hospitals in his country, which has had over 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths.

Now, in response to the Irish government on Friday placing stricter restrictions on the general public for two weeks, McGregor wants to see the military on hand to make sure people only leave their homes if they need to buy food or their work is essential.

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"We have now entered a more substantial lockdown and I am pleased to see it," McGregor said in a video uploaded to his Facebook account. "We must abide by the legislations put forth by our leaders. 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."

McGregor added: "Our defense forces have been mentioned as a possibility in assisting our 50,000 Gardai (police officers) available, but only if necessary; however, it is necessary. I urge the government to utilize our defense forces alongside Gardai Siochana and for full, 24-hour patrol. We cannot go by chance here.

"Any less than full adherence to these newly put-forward methods by any members of our society will not only be a mockery to what we are attempting to do here, it will put the rest of our great nation in danger. We just cannot take that chance.

"I know our nation will comply but please utilize all our available assets to assist with this."

The Dubliner also called on the country's airports to be closed immediately and suggested the only flights that should be allowed are ones carrying "essential medical equipment" or those returning health workers from abroad.

McGregor concluded: "To President [Michael] Higgins, to all of our leaders: Close our airports, utilize our defense forces.

"To the nation, abide by these measures impeccably."