What About The Eyes?


The Late Late Show, February 29

Ryan Tubridy: “Are face masks worth a damn?”

Professor Luke O’Neill: “They are if you are infected.”

Tubridy:”If you’re the infected person?”

: “Yeah, the number one advice is to stop you coughing. I could cough on you but the face mask will trap the virus. If you’re not infected you have no reason to wear a face mask. Two reasons. One, people fidget with it anyway, you know? And secondly it goes in through the eyes as well. This evil virus will penetrate the eyes and that’s not covered anyway. There is no evidence that wearing a face mask will protect you at all. The main reason is to stop you spreading it.”

Tubridy: “If you don’t have this,.”

O’Neill: “There is no need to wear a face mask ever. Absolutely not.”

Tubridy: “At all?”

O’Neill: “At all. That’s the recommendation.”

Turbridy: “So why are people panicking a little bit about…”

O’Neill:”They’ve seen too many horror movies. ”


The Tonight Show, April 30.

Professor Luke O’Neill: “You hate this but the science has changed in the last three…there’s new information has come along…”

Ivan Yates: “I’m actually prepared to indulge this…”

O’Neill: “…new information…asymptomatic spread means you got to wear a mask. It was good before, coughing meant spreading, you wore a mask if you had symptoms. Now we know it spreads with no symptoms. The great analogy is it‘s like a fire burning in our cities…you’re breathing embers that might get the fire going again. A mask will stop the embers.”

Luke writes:

I realise the ‘science has changed’ but what happened Professor O’Neill’s warning about the eyes? He said ‘This evil virus will penetrate the eyes and that’s not covered [by a mask] anyway’. Does this still apply? Or has the science changed on that also?


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53 thoughts on “What About The Eyes?

  1. Killian

    This guys a maverick, yes he know’s the science and is a good character for a sound bite but his language is very loose & casual for something as serious as Covid.

    1. f_lawless

      I think that like others in the Irish medical establishment, O’Neill has shown himself to be beholden to groupthink and blinded by his own hubris. When his entrenched position is challenged, he reacts with scorn and even derision.

      See in this short clip how he responds abusively to Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Michael Levitt.

      Back in Feb/March Levitt analysed the data coming from China and correctly predicted that the virus would not rip through populations exponentially as was first thought but would instead taper off. While many epidemiologists were warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Levitt observed early on that data simply don’t support such a dire scenario. He wasn’t listened to at the time by much of the scientific community.

      In this clip on Irish TV from June, Levitt proposes that widespread community exposure to the virus has already occurred and that the herd immunity threshold in places like Ireland may be as low as 20% now that more has been discovered about what constitutes immunity (T-cell response, partial cross-immunity, etc). O’Neill’s egoistic response to that is embarrassing.

    2. f_lawless

      Also watch O’Neill in this short news clip indulging in unwarranted fearmongering while at the same time going out of his way to condemn the Swedish non-lockdown approach as a total disaster. Neither of his claims are true.


      It’s a condescending attitude towards the average layperson typical of much of the Irish medical establishment in this whole affair. Fill the public with fear so they do as they’re told while gaslighting them in a bid to protect one’s credibility.

      1. bisted

        …I’ve tried and failed as to what motivates you anti-vaxxers…on the weekend where Ruth dies you might just shut up for a while…a vacinne exists that can eradicate cervical cancer within a generation…thankfully, the Greta generation listen to science not you snake oil salesmen with your hocus pocus remedies…

        1. SOQ

          anti-vaxxers- great label isn’t it? Stick it on someone’s forehead and then dismiss any and all concerns by waving the high hand- it must be great being you.

          1. bisted

            …everyday you are on here peddling your dangerous remedies…where we are in Ireland is through solidarity with people who didn’t want to catch this disease and didn’t want to spread it…you…from early days showed your disdain for ordinary people trying to do their best, sometimes at great personal cost…disgusting…

          2. SOQ

            … ordinary people…

            Are you an ordinary person bisted? I very much doubt it.

            My father was a road sweeper and I luckily inherited his questioning mind- you?

        2. f_lawless

          It’s ok to admit you’re fumbling around in the dark trying to make sense of it all, but lashing out at others with lazy smears to make yourself feel better won’t improve your situation.

          1. f_lawless

            We’re all trying to make sense of it all. I’m making a reasoned criticism, as I see it, of O’Neill’s statements made on Irish TV which I’ve linked to directly.

            To then respond with an “anti-vaxxer” put down is just low-level trolling.. Nothing to do with my views nor the points I attempted to make

            A bit like the condescending comments (without much if any substance) directed towards other commenters that you like make 99% of the time. Haven’t you noticed that about yourself?

          2. sidhe

            oh you sure have me pegged. well, consider me chastened.

            I think that what you and soq do here on a daily basis, posting links to quite literally any alternative source you can find, playing down the serious nature of this virus, the efficacy of wearing masks as a preventative measure, and any number of other theories, is incredibly dangerous. all posted under the guide of ‘just asking questions’ and ‘reasoned criticism’. it is quite often the peddling of misinformation on your part and the deliberate spread of disinformation by the some of the sources you link to, not just a few times but multiple times on a daily basis and for months now too.

          3. bisted

            …me too f_lawless…your indefatigable logic has got me again…last time you admonished me for daring to question the claims you were making for that wonder remedy – hocuspocusquinine. How are the tests on that going?

          4. SOQ

            It is pretty obvious by your snide remarks and sarcastic put downs that you two clowns do not want conversations which sit outside your own narrative. That is arrogance, nothing more.

            It is not up to you to decide what people discuss or how a topic is framed. It is certainly not up to you to censor other people’s conversations.

            If you don’t like what another individual is saying then either challenge it or, just don’t read it- end of. It is up to the owners of this site to decide what is and is not acceptable discourse, no one else.

          5. sidhe

            the hypocrisy of you, some old clown

            I’m sure you’ve never, nope never, shut down an argument based on the arrogant assumption that you’re the only gay in this village with something worth saying and therefore the only one worth listening to

            I prefer – like most people – to take my medical advice from a doctor, not from an internet rabbit hole. that’s not arrogance, that’s common sense. and perhaps I’m just a bit more cynical of your stance because I did lose a family member to Covid-19.

            with respect, I don’t disagree with you on all matters and I think you often make some very good additions to the comment section here, but in this case I think that both you and f_lawless are looking for a conspiracy where there is none, and that a lot of what you post in relation to this crisis is not helpful, and so we will have disagree on this matter.

          6. Nigel

            You’re only encouraging people to fumble around in the dark by focusing on the mask with culture-war-like exclusion of the context that masks are one part of a wide strategy that includes social distancing, hand-washing, limited numbers for social gatherings, testing, tracking and tracing. Any discussion of masks without this context is dishonest.

  2. Col

    It’s about reducing the chances, not eliminating them.
    A seatbelt won’t stop you dying in a fire, but it’s still worth wearing one.

    1. Harry

      One thing I have noticed over the last few years is that people generally don’t understand the difference between prevention and risk mitigation

  3. Cian

    Virus spreads from infected person (primarily from their mouth) to another uninfected person (into eyes, nose and mouth).
    A mask on the infected stops the spread from the infected person (their mouth).
    A mast on the uninfected stops the spread to then uninfected person (the nose and mouth – but not eyes.)

    ” If you’re not infected you have no reason to wear a face mask. ” still applies…. the science is not saying we’re not sure if you’re not affected…so we need to treat everyone as if they are infected… and wear masks.

    (when I say “stops” here I’m implying the reduces the likelihood of the virus spreading)

    1. ReproBertie

      Swear I had this very conversation last week when someone was trying to point out that not wearing goggles meant masks were utterly pointless. You can get the virus through the eyes but how can you spread it through your eyes?

    2. Junkface

      You see healthcare workers wearing the eye masks, goggles, or face shields to protect their eyes because rooms in hospitals could have many infectious particles floating in the air from sick people coughing and breathing.

      So if you had to fly in a plane, and you wanted to be 99.9% safe, then you should wear a mask and eye goggles for protection.

    1. ReproBertie

      Put up or shut up SOQ. Rather than hint at the possibility of a connection why don’t you research it and come back with a Yay or Nay.

      1. SOQ

        I am citing Dr Marcus De Brun but unfortunately his twitter account is now gone.

        I’ll see if I can dig it out of an interview.

          1. Kingfisher

            He’s got a firm that is aiming to make a vaccine against a deadly disease, and he’s got some funding for that? The criminal!

          2. SOQ

            I am not making any accusations one way or the other- just recounting what De Brun said?

            Google “Marcus De Brun Luke O’Neill twitter” and you will see the headers of those tweets.

          3. italia'90

            Here ya go SOQ
            One of de Brún’s last tweets was about Sitryx
            He put the link up nearly every day.
            He was asking a genuine question and linking to the BioWorld article below and why this is not mentioned by any MSM in IreIand and why he’s not being treated as a compromised or biased influencer. There are always legitimate questions that should be asked. This is one imho.


          4. SOQ

            Is that an apology I hear ReproBertie?

            No point asking Vanessa as her nostrils would blow fire while attempting.

          5. Kingfisher

            But once again, I ask: was that actually Marcus De Brun’s Twitter account? Was it verified?
            If the only way of tracking back a statement is to a now-deleted Twitter account, I’m always doubtful about the statement.

          6. SOQ

            De Brun referenced that twitter account in interviews on many occasions and the content was entirely consistent with the points he was making. Not once did he ever deny or disown it, quite the opposite. If t was fake I am pretty certain he would have done so.

            wayback has nothing but as I said- you can see the beginnings of those tweets from doing a google search.

    2. Vanessanelle

      Oh grow up Same’oh

      Teaching Labs like Professor O’Neill’s have relationships with loads of commercial producers, and vested interests
      Even private equity firms

      If it wasn’t for research grants, bursaries, and commercial research engagements, teaching labs wouldn’t be much more than a prefab at the back of the college carpark

  4. Richie

    Generating soundbites like “There is no need to wear a face mask ever.” is pretty irresponsible on his part.

    1. ReproBertie

      Thankfully he did the responsible thing and publicly changed his position when the facts changed.

  5. Kingfisher

    ” If you’re not infected you have no reason to wear a face mask. ” still applies….
    How do you know you’re not infected, pray tell? You wear the mask to protect me, if you’re a decent person, and I wear a mask to protect you, because it’s possible to be infected and not have symptoms.
    The streets are full of people galumphing along huffing and puffing, while other people shout gaily to the group of friends surrounding them, and others again roar at the person at the other end of their mobile phone, spit flying. Any of them could be infected and kindly sharing their infection with others.
    Luke O’Neill is intelligent enough to change his advice when the science he’s been relying on proves faulty, and new research shows that masks are one of the best defences against Covid spreading, the other sixteen being the distance you keep and your pink little fingers.

  6. Eoineyo

    Wearing a mask may not stop anyone from getting infected, it may also not stop anyone from spreading it, much like a seatbelt in a car it may or may not save your life but it helps, the only way to stop the spread is to stay at home but that is just not practical and I certainly don’t want to go to lockdown again.
    What I do know (I’m not a qualified medic, just experienced in assessing risk) for the vast majority of us it will do us F’all harm to wear a mask when in enclosed spaces, so please just wear a feckin mask.

  7. Barry the Hatchet

    I can’t tell whether people like the OP are genuinely not very bright or are just being wilfully obtuse. Either way it’s worrying that people seem to be struggling to understand some very simple advice.

      1. Cian

        If others wear masks – there is little to no benefit.
        If others don’t wear masks – there is some benefit.

  8. DaithiG

    Unless you’re being tested every day, it’s not certain that you are not infected.


  9. Sham Bob

    Asymptomatic transmission was known about back then. The problem was the WHO was concerned mask supplies would be impacted and decided people couldn’t be trusted to wear masks ‘properly’ and lots of experts followed their lead in advising them not to bother. Huge mistake imo.

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