The Labour Party says people need to be given clear advice on the use of face coverings before May 18th.
The Taoiseach has indicated that the use of cloth masks would be recommended in shops and on public transport from then on.
Labour leader Alan Kelly says we can’t rely on getting them from overseas.
The Tipperary TD says if they’re going to be made in Ireland, textile companies need to be given a head-start.
“I’m sure that this can be done locally as regards the basic masks that are needed among the public.
“Small companies across the country can provide an adequate amount of these masks. Obviously they’d need a bit of lead time in order to do so but I think that’s what should be done.”
“The basic masks that are being used by the public and in certain workplace environments should be manufactured and must be manufactured here.”