Conor McGregor gave a statesman-like speech on Facebook urging the Irish government to lock down the country to stop coronavirus spreading

  • Conor McGregor has posted a video to his social media channels in which he gave a statesman-like speech regarding the coronavirus.
  • McGregor urged Ireland's decision-makers to do more to restrict the spread of the disease, including grounding flights, closing non-essential business, and enforcing a stringent lockdown.
  • It is not the first time McGregor has spoken about the coronavirus. Earlier in the month he appeared to suggest his aunt had died from the disease. However, he later said her death was not related to COVID-19.
  • Watch McGregor's video below.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Hello everyone, hello Ireland — I would like to address my nation," Conor McGregor said in a statesman-like video about the coronavirus pandemic posted on social media.

The two-weight UFC champion, arguably the most famous Irishman worldwide right now, urged his country's decision-makers — from the president Michael D. Higgins to vice admiral Mark Mallet and the garda (police) commissioner Drew Harris — to ground flights, close non-essential business, and enforce a lockdown.

McGregor posted his video as a reaction to the worsening coronavirus pandemic. To date, there have been 398,107 confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world, with 17,454 deaths. In Ireland alone there have been 1,125 cases and six deaths.

"While we are currently debating a full lockdown, I feel that we must," McGregor said Tuesday. "Anytime spent debating this is needless time from the clock. I know a good, tough fight when I see one, and we have one on our hands now.

"I want to call upon my people, the great people of Ireland … this fight needs us all. We are all in the red corner together, awaiting the bell. So lets gather together and ring the bell ourselves, including the people from the rest of the world. True lockdown must begin, and it must begin now. A lockdown together. A lockdown united."

"We must close our airports, all non-essential business, all non-essential travel."

The 31-year-old went on: "We need to take the same measures as some of the heavier affected countries only we must do it in quicker time. We have the advantage here in that we can see this coming. We can see this coming!

"We are not adhering to social-distancing, at least not to the extent required to halt exponential growth. A lockdown would facilitate this. It will reduce transmissions, take the pressure off our front-line staff, and it will allow us to identify all of our cases.

"These methods are stringent but necessary and have worked in China and Hong Kong."

Watch his video here:

McGregor is not the only combat sport athlete to speak passionately about the pandemic, as his address follows a statement from former eight-weight world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao, who said he is "not afraid to die" to help his native Philippines battle the virus.

It is also not the first time McGregor has spoken about the coronavirus. Earlier in the month he appeared to suggest his aunt had died because of the disease. However, he later clarified that her death was not related to COVID-19.

Speaking to his country's people this week, he said: "Ireland, we have got this. Not only do we have the formula, we have it ahead of time. Let's go Ireland. Let's go rest of the world. Lockdown, united. Together we stand.

"God bless us all."

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