Former Attorney General and justice minister, Senator Michael McDowell has slammed NPHET’s advice to send Dublin into a fresh lockdown as flying in the face of science. 

“It hasn’t been scientifically justified, it’s wrong, it flies in the face of the strategy that this government announced two weeks ago that they were going to open these places again. It flies in the face of science, it’s wrong,” he said.

 

“In the #Seanad today I highlighted the absurd difference in how meat plants and restaurants have been treated by NPHET and the HSE.  Misguided Covid regulations condemning vulnerable workers to unemployment need further debate,” he tweeted afterwards.

“I want to identify completely with the remarks that have been made by other members of this house today in relation to what we are being told in the media the government intends to do on the advice event of NPHET. I have no confidence in NPHET for this very simple reason, that they have – between them and the HSE – the difference in treatment of meat plants and restaurants is dramatic and inexplicable. I have no confidence in the HSE for this reason that for three years from 2016 to 2019 there were reports after reports saying an increase in intensive care unit provision was needed and nothing was done in relation to this, practically nothing was done. And in March when this situation arose again, we hear at the Covid Committee that sanction has been given for an increase in ICU capacity –
that is the politics and the administration of paralysis.

“Closing down restaurants: this day in this capital is going to condemn vast swathes of vulnerable, underpaid people to go home to their bedsits or wherever they are and spend weeks alone in those premises  without proper wages –  that’s what’s going to happen.”

“It hasn’t been scientifically justified, it’s wrong, it flies in the face of the strategy that this government announced two weeks ago that they were going to open these places again. It flies in the face of science, it’s wrong.” And the last thing I want to say in the 12 seconds that I have available to me is that this  house should debate these regulations – we haven’t debated them, we stand up and give two minutes on them, but they’re misguided.”

“NPHET doesn’t deserve our respect, the HSE doesn’t deserve our respect. They are implementing policies which are cruel, wasteful and extremely damaging to our economy and extremely damaging to public health in terms of cancer, psychiatry, psychology, well-being right across the board. ”

“I feel now that it’s time that we stood up and demanded that these regulations be properly debated in this house.”