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Keogan: ‘Follow the science’ means ‘shut up & do as we say’

Senator Sharon Keogan has slammed the idea of dividing society by vaccination status, and says unvaccinated people are being treated like “second-class citizens.”

The remarks were made yesterday in the Seanad, during a debate on the Order of Business. Keogan began by saying that she had “grave reservations” about the media coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Ireland.


“Ever since the beginning of our vaccination programme, I have been constant in warning against the dangers of dividing society along the lines of vaccination status and opposed any legislation that encouraged it,” she said.

“Imagine my disappointment then when I tuned into “The Pat Kenny Show” to hear the host demonising 17-year-old children for going to the cinema and referring to them as “vaccinatable”, as if a person’s worth is based on whether we can jab them and include them as a figure on the vaccine uptake tally.”


She went on to blast the government for extending Covid restrictions past the planned October 22nd “Freedom Day,” adding that countries with a lower vaccination rate than Ireland were fully open already.

“Only a few weeks ago, we were all smugly patting ourselves on the back as articles about our great vaccine uptake flooded in,” she said.

“The unspoken message was that we were great, selfless and educated, unlike other countries, whose people were acting like savages. A fat lot of good that has done us as the Taoiseach has confirmed that our restrictions will once again live on past their supposed expiry date, while other countries with much lower vaccination uptakes are now more successful at suppressing the virus.”


The Senator went on to assert that the media should stop blaming the unvaccinated for the country’s problems and should instead engage in some introspection.

“It is clear then that the current tone reflecting the position that the only reason we are having a problem with the virus is due to the individuals choosing not to get vaccinated is not only deeply insulting, discriminatory and harmful, it is also incorrect,” she said.

“This hunting around for some cohort of ordinary people to blame must stop and the responsibility for that lies with our media figures and outlets. It was not even two weeks ago when we stood in this Chamber and were told that the continuation of Covid certificates past 22 October was unlikely.”


The senator concluded by accusing the government of “moving the goalposts.”

“At this stage, I cannot even muster any surprise that while the rest of Europe is up and running, the government maintains its policy of fear and stifling caution, and rushes to move the goalposts once again,” she said.

“The message after today’s announcement is very clear. People who are not vaccinated can and will be treated like second-class citizens. They will be dehumanised, labelled and cancelled unless they do what they are told. “Follow the science” means, “Shut up and do as we say.””


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