Credit: Pablo Nidam / Scopio

“Auxiliaries?” TD responds to Varadkar’s call for private security firms to check Covid pass 

The suggestion by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar that private security firms may have a role in conducting spot checks of Covid passes in pubs, nightclubs and restaurants has sparked outrage on social media. 

Clare TD, Michael McNamara, who has been an outspoken critic of what he sees as threats to civil liberties in the lockdown tweeted that the suggestion provoked memories of the Auxiliaries – the notorious force sent in by Britain during the War of Independence to bolster the oppressive RIC and the Black and Tans.

His comment came after Varadkar said that there should “absolutely” be spot checks and that the government was considering the involvement of private security agencies.

“The vax and tans?” one wag wrote.

The proposal was described as “extremely sinister” by more than one commentator on Twitter.

“There is something extremely sinister about the idea of a private security firm involved in trying to enforce this pass,” he wrote. “Our Garda are thoroughly vetted before they even commence training. Who are these people going to be?


Many others agreed. “They seem to be developing a taste for increasingly and abusively controlling us. This is not going to end up well I’m afraid,” wrote one woman.

“This is very serious. I will not give my medical and identity details to private security staff because I’m at a restaurant. The Irish state needs to be brought into court.,” she added.

Others spoke of a “threat to democracy”.

“Leo Varadkar and Michael Martin have crossed a line. This has now become an exercise in gaslighting, coercion, and out and out discrimination. It is in fact a threat to democracy in my opinion and unconstitutional in it does not allow for freedom of assembly.” one man wrote.


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