Last night.

RTÉ One’s Prime Time.

Dr. Martin Feeley (top left) debated infectious disease expert Professor Sam McConkey (top right) in one of the first times RTÉ has aired a dissenting voice on Covid restrictions.

Dr Martin Feeley was forced to resign from Dublin Midlands Hospital Group after criticising Ireland’s ‘Draconian’ response to the pandemic.

Previously: Dr Martin Feeley on Broadsheet

Video via ivor Cummins

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82 thoughts on “The Dam Breaks

  1. Micko

    This was a great watch last night. An actual debate.

    Regardless of whether you agree with him or not, this man should not have been forced to resign.

  2. broadbag

    He spoke very well (in your edited clip), McConkey believing you can eradicate it from the island when much of the north is under another jurisdiction is bonkers, not sure he was the best to represent that side of the debate.

    1. SOQ

      McConkey is arguing for a zero CoVid-19 strategy except we are not Australia or New Zealand and besides, the story is far from over in those countries because it will still be back next season and they will be starting all over again.

      1. Micko

        New Zealand has a tourist economy in and around 40 billion

        23 billion of that is domestic. They could probably close their borders indefinitely

      2. Formerly known as

        @SOQ – NZ has eradicated it. Aus is close. There is talk of a travel bubble between the two. Aus is hoping to allow foreign students in. The domestic tourist markets will do well. Zero Covid is an option for Oz and NZ. I am not sure it could work for Ireland, much as I would like it to. The nutty unionists would prefer to die than to work with the 26 counties. Apart from that, travel between Ireland and Europe would be difficult to limit.

        1. SOQ

          I think you are somewhat missing the point Formely- even is a country is successful in entirely eradicating it now- which none have done so far- it will reappear again and again until enough people are immune.

          Lockdowns only delay its transmission- not stop it.

        2. Australia’s covid strategy sucks

          Hahahhaha haha.

          Australian here. Every single time the Government relaxes restrictions here, cases begin to climb once again. They have the hospitality, event and tourism industries under brutal restrictions that are absolutely crippling the majority of businesses.

          They haven’t “eradicated” the virus, they have hit the pause button. Nothing more. New Zealand’s economy will take an unfathomable hit if their international tourism stays closed much longer. We are not a success story. We are stuck in the lockdown cycle from hell here. A single positive case results in heavy restrictions and internal border closures. The Government dictate who we can have in our homes, they dictate where we can travel within our own country, they have rendered entire industries totally unviable.

          The Government must keep us living like this indefinitely if they are to keep their “eradication” strategy going. One year? Two? Three? What happens when a vaccine doesn’t come or is only 50% effective? Remain closed? Bankrupt the country? Ruin hundreds of thousands of lives?

          1. Cian

            Yes, but he is under the impression that it will *not* come back next year when the Covid “season” starts,

          2. SOQ

            Wrong- it will come back every year if community immunity has not built up, just like other corona viruses and flus.

          3. Cian

            So there will be a resurgence of Covid -with hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and deaths.

            But not a “second wave”.

            (oh, there are 20 ICU cases today. highest since 18th June) but sure, it’s a “casedemic”.

          4. f_lawless

            “(oh, there are 20 ICU cases today. highest since 18th June)”

            You need to start adding a disclaimer to these updates Cian.


            *20 PCR positive test cases. Unknown what proportion of cases are in ICU due to Covid-19 disease

  3. dan

    McConkey is delusional and loving the attention RTE give him way too much
    He’s a bland civil servant who lives in his own little very well paid bubble

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Martin Feeley has just handed the fear-meister McConckey his ass. McConkey has tried (and what is tried here on BS) to divert, distract etc.
      The first case in Ireland – wasn’t the first case.

      What has happened to Martin Feeley was despicable.

    1. BooBeeDoo

      You’re right, that’s incredible – he’s only an Associate Professor!!! How did I not pick up on this before now. Now I have even less respect for him, and that was already on the floor! Thanks Dan!

  4. Col

    I agree with his point on “flattening the curve” to a point.
    However, does anyone have a ballpark figure for how many new admissions to hospital the state can take? Is 100 per week high or manageable? Or does it only depend on ICU beds? Maybe it can’t be quantified, but this isn’t mentioned anywhere that I can find.

        1. Andrew

          You will never hear the head of the HSE questioned on any of this. I don’t know why he has been given such an easy ride.

          1. SOQ

            According to figures shared in Swedish media, Sweden had 526 available intensive care beds at the start of the crisis – among the lowest number in Europe (a comparison from 2011 estimated Sweden’s intensive care beds at 5.8 per 100,000 people, compared to a European average of 11.5).

            In just a matter of weeks, it scaled up to more than 1,100 available beds, which were all equipped to be able to accept patients.


        2. Vincent Harris

          They didn’t push on the ICU beds because very few actually end up in there. Less than 100 of the recorded 1800 passed away in ICU.

          1. SOQ

            Which is a story in itself- about how so many were already so ill that there was no point in admitting them to ICU.

          2. Vincent Harris

            So ill,
            With Covid or with co-morbidity, frail with age.
            Not deemed a viable ICU candidate, or at home, afraid to present due to the mass psychosis instilled by Gov & MSM

          3. Cian

            They didn’t bother putting the “dead wood” into ICU – sure they should have died of the flu last winter.

          4. SOQ

            No they just threw the symptomatic into the nursing homes which is why Dr Marcus De Brun is calling for a public inquiry.

  5. dan

    “”My median scenario is that we’d have a 20 per cent attack rate and 20,000 deaths.”
    Associate Professor Sam McConkey, March 2020

    1. Cian

      Yes . He said that at the start of March when daily deaths in one part of Italy were hitting the thousands. At the time is wasn’t an unreasonable estimate based on the data available.

      Hindsight is 20:20.

        1. Cian

          True, but irrelevant.
          Has McConkey repeated that claim in the last 6 months? nope. he has recalculated the number on new info and come up with a much lower figure.

          1. Vincent Harris

            He was wrong then.
            He has been wrong several times since
            He is wrong now

            What will it take to shake him out of his Zero-Covid utopia

            Cases Cases Cases ≠ Hospitalisation ≠ Deaths

          2. Cian

            Cases Cases Cases ≠ Hospitalisation ≠ Deaths

            This is 100% correct.

            However you can say:
            An increase in the positive tests will be followed by an increase in the numbers admitted to hospital which will be followed by an increase in ICU and/or deaths.

  6. dan

    Lock the country down for 4 months, says an associate professor on €150k a year.

    Put him on €300 a week and make him stay at home for 4 months.

  7. Janet, dreams of big guns

    McConkey is actually my doc, not really a reflection on him but I can tell you if you aren’t infectious going into that ward in beaumont you are when you come out , same with NI ?

    1. Janet, dreams of big guns

      if they can’t handle hygiene in the tropical and infectious disease wardd of 10 beds not a great precedent to be lecturing the rest of the country

  8. AC

    I think McConkey’s strategy is losing credibility by the day. I just cannot see it working and was logically and eloquently pointed out just there.The social implications of it is absolutely enormous. Lives are being destroyed. Adults lives who cannot look after their children because they have no job. They wont be able to pay their mortgage. They fear losing their homes. They fear even to put food on the table…. The possibility of going into poverty could become a reality. We need to look after the vulnerable of course. There has to be a better way then the approach that is happening now.

  9. Eoin

    Isn’t McConkey the guy who’s talking restriction for 3 to 7 years? Dam is breaking alright. Even Boris has started talking to the Swedes about their approach. They’ve all been a bit too keen to set us all on an ill thought out authoritarian, fiscally disastrous path. I hope people remember that.

    1. george

      What do you mean “even Boris”? He’s a the clown who gave himself Covid-19 by going around shaking hands in hospitals treating people with covid-19.

  10. d

    fair play to RTE for finally having a dissenting voice. that guy spoke very well. great guts, bravery. Feely for President

    I think its a lesson to everyone, read what the media say, listen to views, but make up your own mind. except for anti-vaccinators who think vaccines case autism.

      1. benblack

        More like it’s unstoppable at this stage.

        Charlie Bird was a fairly tentative dissenting voice on Claire Byrne.

  11. Bob

    Nils Anders Tegnell was the first to advise herd immunity (although he could not use that term)

    Each country will soon have a version of Tegnell e.g. Dr.Feeley in Ireland, who with science and common sense will give options to the world’s current covid plans.

    These Tegnell clones will multiple and spread and a real worldwide debate will occur. Change is coming.

    1. Nigel

      As someone with an underlying condition, and has a son with an underlying condition, two parents, one brother and one sister with underlying conditions, and quite a few friends in the same boat, I am really looking forward to a pre-vaccine thin-the-herd-immunity policy ripping through our lives.

      (In reference to comments made yesterday – hey Micko and SOQ yes I am REAL FLIPPIN COMFORTABLE.)

      1. Micko

        Hey, me too buddy.

        I Have three underlying conditions.

        But, I’d still rather take my chances than live in the scrappy world we’ve created.

        “Underlying condition Top Trumps” is such fun!

      2. SOQ

        Community immunity has already happened Nigel- as evidenced by the small number of people getting sick.

        There is nothing new about this, old as the hills in fact, the only thing new was these idiots wrecking the country because of it.

    2. george

      We didn’t have herd immunity for Measles, mumps, or rubella until we vaccinated. There’s nothing to say herd immunity will just develop.

      1. SOQ

        It is called a CORONA virus for a reason- it has a 80% makeup as others, which is why some people are naturally immune to it.

        Why would you assume it is going to behave like viruses which have absolutely nothing in common with it- rather than the family it comes from?

        Sit in at home and wait for a vaccine if you wish but don’t demand the rest of us continue to ruin our lives- and the economy too.

  12. george

    They have some Covid denier on the radio every time I turn it on at the weekend.

    Hard to take his judgement seriously when he decided that hairstyle was a good idea.

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