Brendan Gleeson used his time on the Late Late Show St Patrick's Day Special to ask viewers to "continue with small kindnesses" towards each other in the months ahead, and to "remember to ring somebody who might need it".

"I feel if we can hang in for another couple of months, things will change utterly, as they say," the "optimistic" actor told host Ryan Tubridy.

"In terms of mental health, if people can continue with small kindnesses in as much as they can, or remember to ring somebody who might need it and not slam the phone down on somebody who rings... that is what will get us through it."

"I think it's rotten for young people," he continued. "It gets me down a little when there's a little bit of youth-bashing.

"It must be really awful to be 17/18, where all you want to do is get in touch with people, find new people, meet the opposite sex or whatever sex you are into and the whole idea of touching is completely off-limits - actual just being able to breathe and smell the air with people, or if people who have fallen in love already are not seeing the person that they want to be with all the time. It's catastrophic at that age, it's horrible."

"I feel if we can hang in for another couple of months, things will change utterly, as they say"

The former teacher added that he thinks "teachers should be bumped up the list" for vaccination.

"I would be prepared to wait, no problem to let the teachers have their stuff first," he said.

"I think they are on the frontline... they should be bumped up the list, and I think people who serve in supermarkets at the tills should be up the list. Anybody who is doing the essential stuff in the everyday should be getting it, anybody who has to come in touch with the people and the public. I think people are now starting to realise how essential everybody is." 

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