Meanwhile, At The High Court


This morning.

Four Courts, Dublin 1

John Waters and Gemma O’Doherty arriving at the Four Courts for the second day the High Court action challenging the State over the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions.

The pair have launched a legal challenge against the State over its decision to implement ‘unconstitutional’ emergency measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

More as we get.



74 thoughts on “Meanwhile, At The High Court

      1. Rob_G

        The Liffey. Odd numbers Northside, even numbers southside. When picking a postcode to ascribe to any news story emanating from outside of Dublin 2,4,6 or 8, Bodger just chucks a dart at a dartboard.

          1. Paulus

            As RB is pointing out, there are a few numbering anomalies. But yes, all of Bodgersville consists of even numbers.

  1. class wario

    The thing is, there probably is a kernel of a valid constitutional argument against elements of the emergency laws somewhere. however iirc these muppets seem to be relying mostly on the fact that the current government are a caretaker government for all intents and purposes which im not really sure invalidates anything about the laws in itself. again, this is just a wedge to open the door to self promotion and getting their ideas about the lockdown being ineffective, the virus being a scam etc but it seems a bit low effort on the law side of things all the same.

    found it quite funny how she was saying they’d present their actual scientific evidence at the full hearing lol

    1. Rob_G

      No. They seem to be representing themselves; if they had engaged legal counsel, their barrister would have told them the same thing, saved a lot of hassle.

      1. SOQ

        Pretty certain they have legal advisors- I can think of one practicing barrister for a start and that is only because she has a public profile.

        1. Rosette of Sirius

          Probably the same place many here got their post-grad degree in Epidemiology…

      2. Matt Pilates

        They’d have to pay for that…. 30k per day per cover in the HC…. where’s the money coming from? I

    2. Johnnythree

      Scientific evidence or not there is a case ongoing as it has not been thrown out yet.
      1. Is the Govt really capable and entitled to change the law to lockdown the country?
      2. On what basis, why and for how long? What is the crisis?
      3. Even if they are a caretaker Government can they?
      4. How will those laws be invalidated after the crisis?

      they do absolutely have a point and a right to go to court. That does not mean you have to like them. Its convenient the way people attack them ( which is what the powers that be want) same FG argument: poor people are responsible for being poor, if they just got with the system they’d be cool etc…

      1. class wario

        i don’t think they have a point tbh. they have a vague idea of a potential outcome (let’s give it the numerical value of 5) and have gone to court with the numerical equivalent of 2 + 2 trying to reach it. and even then, they’re not showing proof of one of the 2s until they’re given a full hearing.

        methinks this is more about (a) attention to the benefit of their ongoing grift and (b) creating as much noise as possible about vague government fascism and shutdown conspiracies in order to rile people up.

        1. Johnnythree

          Of course they have a point. A Govt closes down a country with no discussion or timeline for restoration of citizens rights. Of course they can challenge that. Is that point enough? How do you think revolutions, societal change and laws get changed? By polite request? Everyone has a point. I don’t care about who they are or what they think about 5G etc but the right to protest and the right to go to court to exercise your rights in court is important. Thats the point.

    3. Daisy Chainsaw

      They’re not a caretaker government, they’re the government until there’s a new one.

      1. SOQ

        No. They are definitely a caretaker government or if you would prefer- a euthanasia government?

  2. george

    The British advisor met one person because he wanted a ride. He is human and broke the rules in a limited way. That doesn’t translate into all lockdown measures are pointless so let’s have contacts with dozens of people.

      1. Ringsend Incinerator

        Children at the High Court? Any wonder he wasn’t caught en camera…

        In fairness, a bare orse isn’t that shocking…. not like front bottoms or anything… but enough about the plaintiiffs…

        1. ReproBertie

          There was a mooning yesterday and the mooner was taken away by the Gardaí so the children being endangered by the plaintiffs’ supporters can rest assured that justice will be done for this heinous crime.

          1. Ringsend Incinerator

            We need to get to the bottom of this. Some cheek from the Gardai trampling the right to bare orses….

  3. ReproBertie

    “The IFR is approx 0.2% so it’s similar to the flu”
    Isn’t the IFR of seasonal flu 0.04% making Covid-19, what, five times more deadly? Assuming the .2% figure is accurate but, given the reporting of deaths is all over the shop we can’t be sure on that.

    1. Cui Bono?

      The flu is approx 0.1% IFR and that’s with a vaccine.

      With each new study that comes out and the greater the number of tests we will see the IFR for covid get closer to this 0.1%.

      Check out Dr John Ioannidis video here

      He’s probably the most qualified person on the planet when it comes to statistics and infectious disease. As an academic he has a H index of 198, with his work being cited by other academics almost 270,000 times.

  4. GBM

    Isn’t it amazing how the Irish – who in recent years have apparently become so liberal – have to a large extent blindly followed these authoritarian lockdown rules since they were introduced? Whatever happened to questioning authority?

    1. ReproBertie

      Isn’t it amazing how the Irish have accepted restrictions to their usual movements to help save the elderly and those with underlying condtions (obesity seems to massively increase the chance of a Covid patient ending up in ICU) from this new virus.

      1. Johnnythree

        Isn’t it amazing that people like ReproBertie will repeat ad lib without investigating what they have been told.

        1. ReproBertie

          Isn’t it amazing that people like Johnnythree, who know better than the state’s chief medical officer, the WHO, the ECDC and the NPHET, are left sitting idle when a pandemic arrives.

          1. Johnnythree

            Thats great you have inferred so much power on me but I’m not really all that smart but I can read the data and, mad this, I don’t buy what you bought.

          2. ReproBertie

            You can read the same data as all those I mentioned above but you came up with a different conclusion. Why are you wasting your time posting here when you should be meeting with the chief medical officer, explaining your findings and ending the lockdown?

          3. f_lawless

            Yes it is a shame that opinions like that of the esteemed Dr John Ioannidis (mentioned above by Cui Bono) weren’t listened to around the time when the decision was being made to put Ireland into shutdown. As his mid-March article rightly pointed out, radical decisions were being made by governments without a basis of reliable data. An “evidence fiasco” he dubbed it.

            Unfortunately our authorities got caught up in groupthink and went with the herd rather than implement a less draconian strategy akin to Sweden’s whose authorities held their nerve and resisted pressure to impose a radical shutdown (although they too made some mistakes regarding nursing homes).

            But like the Swedish state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said ““Once you get into a lockdown, it’s difficult to get out of it,”. I think it’s safe to assume that FG & the HSE will do everything they can to protect their credibility rather than ever accept that the possibility that they made a terrible mistake.

      2. GBM

        The lockdown measures are completely out of proportion to the threat posed by the virus. As for protecting human life, don’t make me laugh: this is the same people and the same government who approved abortion on demand only two years ago.

        1. ReproBertie

          “The lockdown measures are completely out of proportion to the threat posed by the virus.”

          In your opinion. There are over 1,300 families who would probably disagree with you.

          1. GBM

            I feel sorry for the families of the bereaved, but I still think the lockdown is over the top. The vulnerable groups should be protected in a targeted manner. Locking down the country is brutally authoritarian and is destroying the economy.

          2. ReproBertie

            Yes, you think it is.

            But those who are tasked with dealing with the pandemic think otherwise which is why the measures were introduced.

          3. millie in quarantine

            That’s a pretty disgusting dismissal of 1300 deaths just to make a point. Well done you.

          4. millie in quarantine

            Getting pretty fed up of you lads deleting my comments with absolutely no explanation, must be said.

            And then I calmed down because it was a technical issue and not at all intended and I regretted jumping to conclusions and being all snippy with the nice BS people.

          5. millie in quarantine

            I rarely get snippy with you folks, and I generally try to take any moderation etc in good humour, as well as being being quick to defend your editorial decisions – even if I don’t agree with them – but I have noticed my comments not appearing or being deleted more often. When I last raised it and asked for an explanation, it was ignored – hence my snippy comment this time.

            That said, thank you for addressing it this time around and thank you for fixing the error.

      1. GBM

        We’re liberal when we can get away with it and when the political and media class tell us we should be (e.g. abortion). But when it comes to defending our genuine human rights in the face of Orwellian government measures, we’re cowards.

      1. millie in quarantine

        I also miss having my hair done. It has nothing to do with my roots, and everything to with the fact that I look like Cousin It from the Addams family.

  5. Cian

    “crimes against humanity”

    Stay at home. Watch TV. And we’ll pay you €300 if you lose your job..

    1. Cui Bono?

      Google docs is just an easy way to share the new data with people.

      The links on the right hand side are to the actual scientific studies.

  6. Johnnythree

    {You can read the same data as all those I mentioned above but you came up with a different conclusion. Why are you wasting your time posting here when you should be meeting with the chief medical officer, explaining your findings and ending the lockdown}

    You really crushed me there. Different conclusions from the same data – who would have thought? Must be my *worldview* sigh

    1. ReproBertie

      That’s not an answer Johnnythree. If anything it’s an acknowledgment that the conclusions which led to this lockdown might be correct, which makes me wonder why you bothered having a go at me for not rejecting the word of the state’s CMO, the WHO, the ECDC and NPEHT, doing my own research and coming up with my own conclusion. All that time and effort by someone who isn’t medically trained or qualified in anything related to pandemics just to discover that they are doing the right thing?

      1. Johnnythree

        Eh but there was no conclusion. Just a swift Govt move after very little public or transparent discourse. Look, I assume you are old and wise enough to know how spin works in this country? The Govt exists because people like you read the *news* and swallow it. Then someone comes along and says ‘hmmmm maybe not’ and you feel a bit foolish. It’s OK, I feel foolish too sometimes and I counter it with informing myself better and investigating the line I’m fed. You can not reject the word of CMO, NPEHT all you like but don’t make the mistake of thinking they are following the word of the WHO on this because they clearly are not. That is two separate strategies and ours in Ireland does not match the WHO. Where is the testing? Follow up? Hell, the WHO are looking at Sweden like its the hero at the moment. You should do your own research especially if you are going to push my argument to the side when I have taken the trouble to formulate an opinion and you chose to follow one. No idea what your last line meant? Who is someone? No hard feelings on this one but really, if you believe the news you are in trouble.

        1. ReproBertie

          There was no conclusion? So all that time they were watching the virus spread to and around Europe, taking advice and information from the WHO and ECDC, while Ireland was in containment phase was just spin was it? Those weeks count as a “swift Govt move”? They’ll be delighted to hear that given how much grief they were getting for not locking the country down sooner.

          The WHO has been pushing testing as the way to trap and beat this virus. Ireland has been ramping up testing since it hit our shores. As of midnight on April 25th, Ireland had tested 153,054 people. We now have 40 labs capable of testing and, now that we have the capacity, the criteria for testing has been dropped meaning more testing. That’d be Ireland following the word of the WHO right there. In fact, testing is one of the keystones to easing the lockdown. You might know that if you watched the news.

          Sweden are taking a different approach and it’s being trumpeted as if they were carrying on life as normal but this is far from the case. A little bit of research is all it would take to learn that. By the way, as of May 5th, Sweden, with twice our population, had tested just 148,500 people so we’re well ahead of them on numbers tested. If our testing numbers mean we’re not following the word of the WHO then what do Sweden’s numbers say?

          Now you need to prepare yourself for a shock here but it is possible to watch the news, read the papers and form an independent opinion. That opinion being in agreement with the way the government are doing something doesn’t mean blindly accepting things.

          1. ReproBertie

            A little bit more research tells me Ireland has done 214,761 tests to date. That’s 43,493 tests per million of population. Sweden has 14,704 tests per million of population.

            Ireland currently has 3,763 active cases to Sweden’s 16,903.

  7. Johnnythree

    There are two key figures that are used in the Covid Crisis almost worldwide.
    1. Deaths (these are confirmed deaths from Covid, setting, time of death reporting vary by country)
    2. ICU Numbers

    These figures show how many people are dead and how many are in ICU. They are important because Governments want to know if the death rate is rising or falling and how many are in ICU (because it might get overwhelmed)

    Testing (regardless of the changes in criteria) can only be useful if it is combined with other actions – track, trace, quarantine. Thats the Taiwanese and Korean model.
    Testing as we are doing it only serves as disease surveillance, thats all. We are not running our testing labs fully despite there being 40 of them as you point out because we have no cohort to go into them. Even if we open up the criteria wide open we still wont be busy unless we subject everyone to a test. 40% of Covid positives are asymptomatic – meaning they don’t know they have it. So why would they go to get tested? The other cohort who are positive are sick – they have symptoms, they go to hospital, some go to ICU, some go on to die. We know they have Covid – they are the new figures on the news every day.
    So. Testing rates mean nothing really unless they are used to halt or track the disease. Testing won’t do anything unless it is used. Its popular to talk about increasing testing capacity because it is the one metric the Govt can manage (although not our Govt as they never really got around to organising testing in Nursing homes till it was too late).
    So testing will give you the chance to see who was connected with who when infected but you have 2 days to find these contacts before they start the chain again. So you need to be super slick and super organised (App/ Technology/ Tracing team) to find them. Testing only works if you are positive, on Monday you might be negative on Tuesday you might be positive, so testing is only a snapshot. Right now we have no testing strategy and are running out of people to test, hence the centres and hospitals that are quiet.
    The testing figures you quote are grand but not indicative of anything really except that we got more people to test. The outcomes for Ireland Sweden are startling.
    NEW Deaths: As at May 6th. Sweden 7.4/ Million pop. Ireland 5.4/ Million pop
    CUMULATIVE Deaths: As at May 6th. Sweden 263/ Million pop. Ireland 275/ Million pop

    NEW CASES: As at May 6th. Sweden 60/ Million. Ireland 62/ Million
    CUMULATIVE CASES: As at May 6th. Sweden 2279/ Million. Ireland 4529/ Million
    So I totally get why you presented testing figures, it sounds impressive. But is it not odd that Ireland having had the lockdown, the resultant economic, societal trauma, restriction of liberty is still not performing well, at all? I get that Sweden had a different approach, I get they are not on lockdown and have made some restrictions. There is no point in showing active cases unless you adjust for population as I have done above.
    I’m hoping that the above will show you why I think the way I do. I used to look at testing rates etc and get all warm and fuzzy thinking they had it under control but now I’m raging about the absolute spin being pulled by the Govt. I’m not mad at you though, I admire your research but seriously if you consider the road to nowhere we are on with testing it might make you mad too.

    *I must note that Ireland is recording all nursing home Covid deaths and Sweden did not for at least part of this but I still think that cannot explain the difference. Compared to Sweden who were in the beginning the outliers, the rebels, the heartless ones we still have done badly. (to date).

    Over and out.

    1. ReproBertie

      “I totally get why you presented testing figures, it sounds impressive”

      I presented testing figures because you asked “Where is the testing? “. Now, as soon as I present the impressive sounding testing figures, you decide they’re not that important.

      Just on the case numbers, if were testing more than Sweden doesn’t it stand to reason that we’ll find more cases?

      You’re not mad at me? Great, thanks Dad.

      1. Johnnythree

        @ReproBertie I asked where is the testing as in where is the testing with follow up and isolation? Very little or none being done. There is little point in testing unless its joined up with a plan. The figures are impressive comparative to other countries but its a metric that makes little impact. My point is that the things we are doing are making less of an impact than they should.
        On case numbers/ Sweden – no, not necessarily because it depends on rate of infection. If the population density is less in Sweden the rate of transmission will be slower/ lower. You can only get positives if you have infections obviously but infection rates differ. In Ireland the majority of our infection rates are in care homes. A quick win, early by the Govt would have been to put in place testing and infection control protocols in care homes – it might have significantly lowered our death rate, transmission rate and longer term opportunities for exiting lockdown. Remember that care home residents are the least mobile segment of the public so locking down there hard and early would have paid dividends especially as a lot of HCW were also infected and probably were drivers of community transmission. My guess is that we will limp along with no plan and cases hovering at 1-2% for a while before we exit. All along the way more spin and more economic damage. I still have not seen the contact/ isolation plan and I don’t think there is one. Sweden comparative figures look like we will end up with the same outcomes despite all our efforts. We lost the battle on the details.

        1. ReproBertie

          In fairness you asked “where is the testing?” as a single question. You then asked where the follow up was. The two were presented as different questions. I have no idea what the follow up is like but I do know that testing was slow out of the blocks and is now up to speed. Having testing capacity up to 100,000 per week is one of the factors for easing the lockdown. That’s in the plan. The follow up to testing is important, obviously, but I have no knowledge in that area beyond the secondment and training of public servants from various areas in contact tracing. My not knowing is why I ignored that question rather than trying to spoof my way through it.

          The way they messed around the nursing homes is a disgrace, especially after they told us they wouldn’t abandon them the way they had been abandoned in Spain. (That’s not a direct quote but I do have some actual work to do so it’ll do. But hey, look at me not agreeing with everything this government has done to handle this crisis.) The overruling of the homes’ own “no visitors” policy beggars belief. Had they left that alone things may have been very different. There was still the possibility for community spread from care home workers of course but this is all philosophical now.

          1. Johnnythree

            I think we agree on more than we think! Great debate. I think there was lots to learn from this and we are all still learning but the care homes really got me. People should have been afforded the simple dignity of feeling safe in their old age.

          2. ReproBertie

            For sure. There are people dying in care homes for non-Covid 19 reasons but families can’t see them before they go. Not getting to say goodbye is tragic and leaves all sort of emotional scars. I know there are reasons for this but it’s not beyond our capabilities to facilitate a farewell.

            Good debate indeed. Always nice to get a different viewpoint on something, particularly when its not accompanied by a heap of insults. You’ve honestly given me a lot to think about even though I still support the lockdown policy. Of course that’s not to say I won’t change my mind about it as the easing drags on. For example, when I saw the Grafton barbers plan of how they would deal with reopening I couldn’t really see why it should be dismissed out of hand. If the proper PPE, cleaning and social distancing is put in place (obviously not between staff and client but that’s where the PPE comes in) then why not let them open earlier than planned?

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