Mask Cheaters Cheat Us All


Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

This morning.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said a system of fines may have to be considered for people who break restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.

Via RTÉ:

Leo Varadkar told a meeting of Fine Gael TDs, Senators and MEPs last night that the Government’s primary aim was to secure public buy-in rather than to introduce draconian measures.

However, Mr Varadkar said if fines were to be introduced, they would have to be both graduated and imposed on-the-spot fines rather than involving the courts.

He suggested an appropriate penalty could be in the order of €50 for not wearing a mask, and €200 for not abiding by travel restrictions.

Level 3 garda checkpoints in place across country (RTÉ)



166 thoughts on “Mask Cheaters Cheat Us All

  1. SOQ

    I am no legal head but how can you impose fines when the guards are only acting in an advisory capacity?

    1. ReproBertie

      As of now there are no fines, though the gardaí have plenty of leeway with FCNs under the public order act if they really want to, but if they introduce fines for not wearing a mask or whatever then the gardaí will be able to issue them.

    2. ACI Question


      They would need to actually make it against the law to not wear masks in certain situations and I don’t see how you can legislate for that when some people will have very valid reasons for not wearing them (ie medical issues) rather than just refusing to do so cause they’re a bit of an asshole (ie read something on Twitter about Bill Gates wanting to indoctrinate them into the Marxist globalist Soros funded cult).

      The genuine reasons for not wearing a mask are so broad once you factor in mental health concerns that again I don’t see how you legislate for this which is presumably why Leo wants to focus more on getting people to buy more into the current guidelines.

      Has anyone done any polling on what support is for the current government’s approach to this pandemic ?

      1. Clampers Outside

        From a week ago… via which is owned by Irish Daily Mail who did the poll…

        “The survey of 1,200 individuals shows public confidence in the Government’s ability to tackle the pandemic has risen eight percentage points to 34%.

        However, there is still a majority, down four points to 53%, who do not have confidence in the Government’s ability to fend off the deadly disease. A total of 13% of the respondents said that they did not know.”

  2. phil

    Unmarked Garda car stopped a Northern REG car in our estate Dublin 9 this morning, occupants of the car did not look happy….

    1. SOQ

      Well that is another story now isn’t it?

      During the last lock down- the rules did not apply to non ROI residents.

  3. frank

    You either do or you don’t.

    The plaster gets ripped off or it stays on. There is no level 3 plaster removal.
    With a dislocated finger it gets popped back in or you don’t touch it. There is no level 3 finger resetting.
    You get the idea.

    This in-between levels nonsense in neither one thing or another and it’s completely destructive. The only purpose obviously is to slowly remove the supports (mortgage break, PUP etc.) but doing so while the crisis is still happening or indeed deepening.

    Government need to be reminded that if we are at level 5 or level 1, we are still at some ‘level’ of a crisis and to very slowly start peeling away the plaster will turn the crisis into an agonising catastrophe.

      1. Frank

        its a crisis or its not.
        there’s no in-between.
        hence emergency measures should be granted or they should not.

  4. E'Matty

    If they try impose such mandatory laws with financial penalities (as opposed to advisory guidelines) they may find these are open to legal challenge. They dodged a bullet in the Ryanair case by being able to state they were only advising against travel, not actually prohibiting it. These measures would be prohibiting and mandating behaviour by the public. They would need to be able to provide the evidence showing these measures have a sound scientific basis and that they are proportionate restrictions on the Constitutional Freedom to Travel, for example. The science simply does not support their position so this could get interesting. Public safety allows the government the potential for wide ranging powers, though these must still have a sound evidential basis to be balanced against the citizens Constitutional protections. It’s not a blank cheque as some seem to believe. We may see court cases with Oxford Professor Heneghan going up against the likes of McConkey, as expert witnesses. Let’s see how this one plays out. I’ll happily donate to any legal action against such measures if introduced by the government. Keep your eyes peeled for the legal action in the works from a number of pub chain owners against the government’s restrictions on their Right to Earn a Livelihood. I wish them every success.

      1. Q Celt

        The vast majority of scientific evidence supports mask wearing. Like climate change deniers, a few outliers do not represent the scientific consensus.
        Next time you have an operation are you going to insist the theatre staff do not wear masks for the good of their health?

          1. E'Matty

            ah come on, are you seriously claiming that Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations, and all the other signatories know more about viruses and epidemics than Professor Sam McConkey?!!! Sam is like the pope, absolutely infallible. The lockdown zealots only listen to “experts” the Irish government have approved (and not even those hired by the gov, as we learned with Prof Heneghan). Great link, thanks for that!

          2. SOQ

            Don’t thank me Matty- that comes via bodger via Ivor the Great via another twitter account about the FRONT PAGE of today’s Daily Mail. And, it now looks like The Telegraph is on board so slowly but surely- battle by battle- this war is being won.

            The biggest shift will come when people realise that science is actually not on their side when it comes to masks and lock downs- that they don’t make a blind bit of difference. I suspect the Irish authorities already know this but are doubling down in attempt of claim success when it does not flare up again.

            The problem is, this doubling down is ruining more people’s health and wealth- the same people who voted them into power in the first place, and they are been thrown under a bus because of political expediency.

        1. Just Sayin

          While it does seem like a reasonable assumption that if surgical masks work well in operating theatres, then cloth masks might work ok.

          Thing is surgical masks don’t work.

          But they probably prefer not to admit that so they carry on using them anyway.

          Of course if you think there is evidence that surgical masks work, then I’d be delighted to see it.

  5. paul

    Good. If they can’t hit selfish idiots in the brain then they can hit them in their wallet.

    Weeding out the people who are genuinely exempt is a tough one. Most of the conditions on the list of exemptions would allow the person to get a medical card without much trouble. Could start there.

    1. E'Matty

      Fire ahead. I won’t pay the fine and am happy to clog up our prison system. Let’s see them imprison thousands of us. What you sheep minded authoritarian types need to understand is, we have the numbers to make these powers unenforceable if we so choose to resist. You may remember the water charges debacle where the dumb herd types like yourself all obediently paid your charges, whilst we simply refused and won due to it becoming economically unviable. We can apply similar strategies here and there’s sweet FA your low intellect kind can do about it. I look forward to observing your continued frustration with people like me.

      1. Hector Rameriz

        Low intellect type…

        Whos argument equates water charges to fines for not caring about others in a global pandemic.

        Right so

        1. E'Matty

          I think you miss the link between a water charge being introduced under the pretence of repairing the water system, whilst really being about the commoditisation and privatisation of the nation’s water supply, and this exaggerated threat from a virus being used to restructure our economy and society. Tell the public one thing to alter their behaviour when really the objective is something quite different.

          There is also the commonality in how we can oppose these measures. Civil disobedience is a wonderful thing, so wonderful the Yanks and Brits regularly use it to overthrow entire governments. I would recommend all of those who oppose these measures to take a look at the work of Gene Sharp, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, especially his book “Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle – Language of Civil Resistance in Conflicts”.

          As I said, low intellect types. This is probably a little cerebral for you to understand.

  6. Pee Pee..

    I support mandatory mask wearing. If ur caught without one, should be offered a mask. If refusal to wear, face a fine.

    1. ian-oh

      Not a bad idea, people forget so to punish for a genuine error is a bit extreme.

      Give AGS members a pack of disposable ones or perhaps have single ones availabe at the entrance to shops for a nominal fee of 50c or similar, if someone still refuses then the fine.

      If they say they have a genuine reason and I accept there are plenty (sticking a bit of paper as per our resident Covid expert Dr. De Brun should not count but being on the ASD spectrum and so forth should), take their details and like is done with your driving licence and other details, get a GP note to explain, bring to the Garda station and no fine. Simples.

      Its not like these systems are not already in place for other matters?

    2. E'Matty

      I oppose mandatory face mask wearing and so will not be complying. I’ll just refuse to pay the fine. What then? How many prison spaces can you create overnight? You’d clearly be hoping it’s a lot more than ICU beds created in 8 months. If we choose to follow this course of action, we have the numbers to break the prison and court system.

      1. ian-oh

        You rebel. Will you be making shrill videos and be accusing all and sundry of paedophilia as well?

        Might be a few bob in that.

        1. E'Matty

          oh, so you don’t think there is a problem with paedophilia in the global ruling class? You sound like one of the people who laughed at and shouted down those who claimed Saville was a prolific paedophile, or that Catholic priests were raping children and were being moved from parish to parish, or perhaps you scoffed when someone said that Lord Mountbatten was a buggerer of young boys (hence the nickname Lord Mountbottom), or perhaps you think those flying on Espteins Lolita Express and visiting orgy island were just going for the tan and ocean swims? I wonder what effect your dismissal of those claiming such paedophilia has on the victims of same. Oh wait, the newspapers told you there is no paedophilia problem and only crackpots claim there is, right?

          1. MME

            Qanonorama! Pedos everywhere but they’ll be rooted out by a man pancaked in orange makeup who likes to grab women by the you-know-what.


          2. Nigel

            ‘You sound like’ – pretty sure there’s a name for this form of argumentative fallacy but i can’t remember what it is. Ad hominim?

          3. E'Matty

            @ MME – ah, yes, the media has told you that anyone who thinks there may be a serious issue with paedophilia in the “elite” circles is a QAnon follower and a Trump supporter. So, this is precisely what MME now believes. Just wondering, do you ever formulate opinions by yourself that aren’t fed to you by the msm? I have no time for QAnon nor Trump.

          4. Nigel

            No, silly. Simple observation tells us that Qanon and Trump supporters think all of Trump’s enemies and unspecified, but often Jewish, elites are all pedophiles. An important distinction. Weirdly enough, Bodger and and a few other commenters, not Trump supporters are or were Qanon believers. So it’s not exclusively Trump supporters and right wingers, which is very curious. One thing I’ve noticed is that they’re very fond of the ‘you sound like someone who’ gambit, followed by a flood of proven pedophile and abuse cases to deflect from the rampant speculation they engage in about unproven ones, or ones for which there is no basis whatsoever.

      2. Haroo

        You could target non-compliance in other ways. Attach the fine to you PPS and have it paid through reduction of benefits or increase in tax.

        Or you could link non-payment to your credit bureau score.

        There are lots and lots of options. You are right in that there is no point clogging up the prison system. If people wish to appeal they could do so at their own expense and be tied up in delay/admin/bureaucracy.

        In the end, you will step in line. You cannot defeat us. This is our time. Your last illusions of liberty are crumbling. You will be broken and reshaped to serve our goals – or whatever you may believe this is about.

        Or just wear the f#$*£€g mask and think about others for once. And don’t whine about lack of evidence – there is plenty of evidence to say that IF used correctly masks are effective and they are proven to reduce viral load transmission.

        1. SOQ

          IF used correctly- which nearly everyone does not. Tell me- do you wash your hands before and after applying one? Do discard or wash after every use?

          Or do you just stick it in your pocket and whip it our when needed like everyone else?

          Masks as worn by the general public do NOT prevent the transmission of CoVid-19- even the mask champion O’Neill has admitted such.

          1. Haroo

            I know, that is why I said IF.

            But why should the answer be to give up on a strategy that can/will work if we provide more masks, more info, more disposal places?

            And yes, I have hand sanitizer coming out my bunghole and gloves and I go around in a little ball and hiss at people when they come close to me (in fairness I did the last one prior to the rona roids).

            My point is, yes we are all dipsh*ts. But don’t make this about your civil liberties. Your rights come with responsibilities. A pandemic requires collective action and responses. The life of some f*$k who doesn’t know he has an underlying condition is more important than your desire to think you’re a special little gumdrop with individual liberties that has priority over all other concerns.

          2. SOQ

            There is no such thing as wearing cloth masks properly because they not of any use in a medical setting- so why would they be of any use elsewhere?

          3. Cian

            Are you saying that cloth masks, if used correctly (similar rules as disposable surgical masks + frequent washing), do nothing to reduce the spread of covid?

          4. SOQ

            They cannot be use like surgical masks because surgical masks are sterile before application. However unlikely, rags may be washed but that is not the same thing at all.

          5. Cian

            How is a mask being sterile relevant?
            As soon as you breath once through the surgical mask it is no linger sterile.

            Do surgeons replace the mask after each breath?

            Okay, how about this: Are you saying that cloth masks, if used sensibly (well-fitting, 3 layers, wearing only clean masks, washing hands before applying, not touching them, taking them off by the straps, etc – similar rules as disposable surgical masks), do nothing to reduce the spread of covid?

          6. E'Matty

            @ Cian – if by reduce you mean block 3% of particles (allowing 97% through), I suppose you’re right, if used correctly, which nobody is. Counter that with the improper use of same (which is what we see by everyone using such masks) and the risk of infection can actually increase (source – BMJ).

        2. E'Matty

          “You could target non-compliance in other ways. Attach the fine to you PPS and have it paid through reduction of benefits or increase in tax.
          Or you could link non-payment to your credit bureau score.”

          I don’t believe any of those would stand up to legal challenge. Linking your credit score or tax level to compliance with a law on mask wearing? Best of luck with that. Perhaps you could provide examples of similar punitive measures in practice? I am not in receipt of any State benefits.

  7. Eoin

    There’s a growing chorus of doctors and experts now calling for the Swedish ‘herd immunity’ approach to the virus. They are still being ignored, but as more and more come out in support of this, ignoring them will cease to be an option. People are loosing faith in power at a rapid clip and they’ll have a hard time winning that faith back. Masks do pretty much nothing. Viral germs are too small and slip through the mesh. Masks are talismans of compliance and nothing more. But of course not everyone wearing a mask believes they actually do anything.

    1. Junkface

      Swedish action was hardly a success. A lot more people died there compared to its neighbours (8 to 10 fold) and their economy still shrunk by 8% like many other countries. No country should be attempting this, especially with higher populations, and more cities closer together.

    2. ReproBertie

      “Sweden’s former chief epidemiologist Dr Johan Giesecke has admitted that Sweden’s herd immunity approach to controlling the Covid-19 pandemic might not work in Ireland … after it was put to him that differences between Ireland and Sweden’s population densities, classroom sizes, and sick pay entitlements would likely mean different outcomes in the two countries.”

      So the Swedish expert stops short of recommending it but that doesn’t stop the Sweden cheerleaders.

    3. ian-oh

      Ah the old ‘ the virus slips through the mask’ argument. As if it hasn’t been addressed before.

      Masks are not there to protect the wearer, they are there to protect others.

      Bring a new argument next time, that one is threadbare and falling apart at the seams.

      But for clarity, when you cough, the virus is expelled in droplets, these droplets, being large in comparison to the mask material mesh, get caught. Not all of them, not all the time, but enough to prevent you expelling a cloud of virus laden droplets into the air. Nobody thinks they are 100% effective but their use can prevent large scale infections to some degree. Again, not always and the mask needs to be fitted correctly but if you cannot fit a mask to your face properly perhaps you have other issues that need addressing first.

      1. SOQ

        There is absolutely no empirical evidence that the introduction of mandatory mask wearing makes a blind bit of difference to the spread of viruses. That was the WHO’s position up until march before they were subjected to political pressure- which they have admitted to of course.

        1. Junkface

          Oh God! Why is THIS so hard to understand. Coughing, droplets in the air, masks cover it, prevent spreading to another person.

      2. E'Matty

        Cloth masks, which a huge proportion are wearing, have a penetration by particles level of 97%. Hardly worth wearing when one considers the impact that can be suffered due to hypercapnia, resulting in renal (kidneys) and cardio stress and damage to the immune system. Added to this is the fact that due to moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks, and poor filtration may in fact result in increased risk of infection. (Source British Medical Journal).

        Is anyone using medical masks (which themselvs have a 44% penetration level) correctly? I think not.

        1. ReproBertie

          “Homemade masks have stronger evidence for protecting others from you than for protecting you from others. Studies have shown that although surgical masks are around three times better at blocking microorganisms than homemade masks (made from cotton T-shirts, for instance), the latter do have some efficacy. Of course, this efficacy varies quite a bit depending on what the homemade mask is made of and how it’s worn.”

          1. E'Matty

            Yours is based on a Chinese Observational study. Mine is based on a British Medical Journal randomised trial. Do you understand the difference?

          2. ReproBertie

            Actually, the report I link to (which is not mine) is based on 89 scientific papers and, even though it points out that repeated washing can reduce the efficacy of cloth masks, concludes “Wearing a mask can protect you from other people, and other people from you. If we all wear a mask, we all protect each other.”

          3. E'Matty

            Concludes based on observational studies, rather than randomised experiments. Perhaps if everybody wore a medical mask and didn’t touch them with their hands, or put them in and out of their pockets, and wear the same one again and again, and changed them when going from one environment to another etc.. there may be some argument for this policy, though the benefits would still be minimal. One would need a pack of 12+ masks each day to meet the requirements. But, we both know that simply isn’t possible and absolutely nobody is doing this, so you have a huge proportion potentially increasing their risk wearing dirty masks and touching them with their hands, and reusing day after day and basically not practising anything close to the level of discipline one requires for mask wearing to provide any meaningful protection. It’s like all the eejits who were wearing gloves at the start of this, which served no benefit and actually increased behaviour likely to increase transmission.

          4. ReproBertie

            ” the level of discipline one requires for mask wearing to provide any meaningful protection”
            So you agree that masks offer protection. Well done. Now take personal responsibility and exercise the level of discipline required for mask wearing to provide meaningful protection.

        2. ian-oh

          Stick with ancient aliens and nano trackers Matthew, at least their might be a decent sci fi movie in that.

          1. E'Matty

            Stick to believing absolutely everything you’re told to believe, like a good obedient little herd animal. The most powerful people in the world are just really benevolent and concerend about your well-being and the welfare of the poor of the world.

          2. sidhe

            and you know better than everyone else, right?

            that’s why you’re here all day pontificating, agreeing with your own pronouncements and generally sniffing your own farts

          3. E'Matty

            @ Sidhe – “and you know better than everyone else, right?” Better than the likes of you anyway, yes. Unlike herd types like yourself, I actually research topics myself and base my positions on the objectively verifiable evidence. Unlike your kind who simply follow voices of authority. There’s a reason you’re known as the herd and called “sheep”.

          4. sidhe

            oh you don’t know my kind at all buddy

            and with arrogance like that, you’re sure to convince everyone know best, because you did your ‘research’ and went to big school too

        3. ReproBertie

          “Hardly worth wearing when one considers the impact that can be suffered due to hypercapnia”, E’Matty fearmongered.

          “We’ve seen lots of posts alerting people to something called hypercapnia – where there’s too much carbon dioxide in the blood. This simply won’t happen unless there is an air-tight fit and you rebreathe your air,” says Prof Neal.”

          So E’Matty thinks a cloth mask is porous enough to let a virus through but impervious enough to trap CO2.

          1. ian-oh

            ”So E’Matty thinks a cloth mask is porous enough to let a virus through but impervious enough to trap CO2.”

            Good point Bertie.

            Also, I had surgery until general anaesthetic recently – while wearing a mask and my kidneys are just fine. I guess some people have snowflake kidneys and lungs? My kidneys are like Chuck Norris on steroids it would appear?

            Now my liver, that’s a whole different carafe/decanter.

          2. E'Matty

            are you actually trying to deny that masks impede the flow of oxygen into your lungs and carbon dioxide out of your lungs? Seriously?

          3. E'Matty

            @ ian-oh – “Also, I had surgery until general anaesthetic recently – while wearing a mask and my kidneys are just fine.” Yeah, this comment sort of encapsulates your idiocy in one sentence. Thanks. Kind of like “I smoked a cigarette once, and look at me, no cancer”

          4. ReproBertie

            You can’t have it both ways. If they stop CO2 then they stop the virus. If they don’t stop the virus they don’t stop C02. Which is it?

      1. Junkface

        The UK tried this in Spring. It was a disaster and led to a massive death toll compared to other countries across EU. The UK has a very high population for its size 68 million I think. Its a risk to take, there will be serious fallout from it.

        Localized lockdowns for outbreaks are a better option.

      2. ian-oh

        OK, would you volunteer to be deliberately infected with Covid 19 so?

        I most certainly won’t and do not recommend you do either?

        Have you heard of ‘long covid’? I know someone who caught it back in April, no underlying conditions, fit as a fiddle, still in bits from it. This was someone who ran regularly but now gets out of breath taking the stairs in a normal semi d house.

        I also know others with underlying conditions and they are even worse.

        Perhaps, like Trump, you will access to the very finest medical care and experimental treatments, hopefully you do because based on what I have heard I most certainly would not wish it upon you or even a clown like Trump.

        However, for balance, I know a few people who had it (really did, got a test confirmed) and they appear fine, bit of strong cold or minor flu and back to normal after a few days. This is why I would be against herd immunity, I certainly don’t want some long term debilitating condition, who would?

    4. Daisy Chainsaw

      Let’s just sacrifice more people on the altar of capitalism so you don’t have to worry about picking up the PS5, or Baby Yoda after queuing for an hour outside Smyths.

  8. Junkface

    It’s going to be hard to control a more serious outbreak of covid heading into the winter. A percentage of the population don’t believe in the prevention basics including masks. Fighting online nonsense and Qanon related indoctrination is where the real battle will be long term. Relaxing of travel rules, people meeting indoors, or in higher numbers has started a 2nd wave all over Europe, and that was during summer!

    Wear a mask, because erring on the side of caution for the sake of the elderly and health compromised is better than the opposite. Dual layered cloth masks are comfortable to wear and can be bought everywhere. Its simple

    1. ReproBertie

      Whatever about people’s beliefs about how this should be handled, the options we are faced with are social distancing, hand washing, cough etiquette and mask wearing or Level 5 lockdown. Is that really such a difficult decision to make? More adherence to the first option should have meant we avoided Level 3 but people seem to miss that.

      1. Junkface

        I agree, it’s not difficult. We should not be having problems preventing spreading. The sooner we can control this virus, the sooner we can rescue our economies, jobs, and get back to normal life.

        1. SOQ

          Oh dear God- why is this so hard to understand.

          You can never control a virus of this sort- NEVER- it like saying that you can control the wind. The best you can hope for is to delay it’s spread so that the health service is not over whelmed.

          If we could control viruses then why did we not do so before now with flus?

          1. ReproBertie

            We may not be able to control it but we can limit the spread through social distancing, hand washing, cough etiquette and mask wearing. Why is this so hard to understand?

          2. Cian

            What about SARS?
            What about Bird Flu?
            What about Ebola?

            Do we all have herd immunity? Or did we control these?

          3. ian-oh

            We do – via a vaccine but even so, in Asia, if someone feels they have flu like symptoms they wear a mask. I have always looked to Asia for this. Look at Taiwan, remind me how deaths they have had, remind me of their culture of mask wearing.

          4. SOQ

            So if masks are so effective then why does Asia have the same rates of flu as else where?

            Unless you are going to argue that masks prevent CoVid-19 but not flu- which is just silly.

          5. ian-oh

            No idea about their flu rates, but I have already mentioned Taiwan who ALL wear masks.

            How many deaths have they had now?

  9. GiggidyGoo

    We had a complete lockdown a few months ago, did we not? Same types of images at Bray etc.

    Now, will someone please explain to me how did we get to this today? In other words, how effective was the last lockdown versus any potential full lockdown now? Did it stop the virus, or is it still around?

    Or is it a case of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Just to be seen to be doing something?


    1. ReproBertie

      The lockdown was not supposed to stop the virus. It was supposed to slow the spread so that our ICU beds didn’t become overwhelmed resulting in people being refused treatment.

      Right now there are 33 ICU beds in use which includes all the beds in some Dublin hospitals. Level 3 is designed to slow the spread again out of a concern that rising cases will mean rising demand for ICU beds. It’s really not that difficult to understand.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        This is October. Do you honestly think then that a lockdown in any form will stop this enough to free up ICU beds. We have December, January and the FLU to deal with, and over the past decade and more the hospitals never have coped.

        2009 we had 579 ICU beds
        we had 354 in April this year
        We have 280 permanent ones now, and will have a winter capacity of 297.

        So our population has increased since 2009. The winter hospital debacle sees increases year on year,
        yet we have just over half the ICU beds that we had 11 years ago.

        So don’t come with the ICU beds in any argument. That’s a choice that FFG made over the years and haven’t addressed.

        Lockdowns just defer the virus. Actions like today delay frontline workers getting to work.

        Time to try the alternatives.

        1. Cian

          2009 we had 579 ICU beds

          Where did you get this stat? I’ve been looking for hospital and ICU bed data.

          1. Cian

            You mean this bit:
            Richard Boyd Barrett said “In 2009, the HSE said we needed 579 ICU beds.”

            You are quoting the Journal, quoting Richard Boyd Barrett asking a question…. but with no supporting evidence.

          2. GiggidyGoo

            Good – now that we know, and you agree, what the HSE itself said what we needed back in 2009 was 579 ICU beds we can discuss 11 years further on, and with an increase in population, why we have just over half of the beds the HSE itself said we needed.

            By the way, the No. of ICU beds back in 2009 was 390 approx. 8.81 beds per 100,000

            So – This is October. Do you honestly think then that a lockdown in any form will stop this enough to free up ICU beds. We have December, January and the FLU to deal with, and over the past decade and more the hospitals never have coped.

          3. Commenter #1

            We don’t have enough ICU beds

            There is a highly contagious respiratory virus doing the rounds

            Imposing some restrictions can impact on how much pressure is on our available ICU capacity

            So you’re proposing… Something else?

          4. Cian

            You originally said: “2009 we had 579 ICU beds”.

            Your evidence for this was something that RBB attributed to the HSE saying it was what we need (not that we had).

            Your original statement was remains unproven.

            Your “evidence” is the word of a TD. Funny that you selectively believe some and not others.

            We are in agreement that there are insufficient ICU beds in Ireland.

          5. GiggidyGoo

            How about this Cian? I placed a little hook in there for you. You bit. I reeled you in, and you’re now wriggling on it. My original statement was the hook. I knew you couldn’t resist a few figures. I knew also you’d nearly wet yourself with excitement (I knew you would) , as you could do the ‘your facts’ aren’t correct routine.

            Now that you’ve replied as you have and concentrated on RBB rather than the facts that we have less (28% less) ICU beds in the system 11 years on, and almost 50% less than the HSE said were needed, also 11 years ago, let’s see where you from there.

          6. Cian

            You still haven’t shown any evidence for the number of ICU beds in 2009. You are just spitting out numbers.

            First it was “2009 we had 579 ICU beds”.
            Now it’s “No. of ICU beds back in 2009 was 390 approx” .
            Perhaps if you try again we’ll be down to 100 beds? or maybe -57 beds?

          7. GiggidyGoo

            My oh my Cian. I thought you, of all people, would be able to find a source for those figures. GIYF


            Summary of recommendations:
            R3 The number of critical care beds should be increased by 45% from 289 to 418 beds. This will need to increase sequentially to 579 over the period 2010 to 2020.

            Country Number of Adult ICU Beds per 100,000 population
            Germany 29.52
            Belgium 26.68
            United States 25.77
            Canada 13.24
            France 12.06
            Netherlands 10.04
            Spain 9.49
            United Kingdom 8.88
            Ireland 8.71

            Population of Ireland 4.521 million

            Spit me back a few numbers

          8. Cian


            If you want to quote numbers as fact, then it is your responsibility to provide evidence.

            I had a very quick look, and it seems like there were 289 beds in 2009.

            First it was “2009 we had 579 ICU beds”.
            Then it was “No. of ICU beds back in 2009 was 390 approx” .
            Now, with evidence, we have ” existing critical care beds from 289 at

            579 to 390 to 298 all within three hours….

          9. GiggidyGoo

            That’s the best attempt at distraction today Cian. Have a better look. My figures stand up. I’ll repeat them, just for clarity as you’re attempting to distract from my later post that stated:

            “what the HSE itself said what we needed back in 2009 was 579 ICU beds”
            (That’s contained in the link I gave – but sure you probably haven’t seen it as you had a ‘very quick look’

            “Summary of recommendations:
            R3 The number of critical care beds should be increased by 45% from 289 to 418 beds. This will need to increase sequentially to 579 over the period 2010 to 2020.

            Country Number of Adult ICU Beds per 100,000 population
            Germany 29.52
            Belgium 26.68
            United States 25.77
            Canada 13.24
            France 12.06
            Netherlands 10.04
            Spain 9.49
            United Kingdom 8.88
            Ireland 8.71

            Population of Ireland 4.521 million”

            And then Reid gave these:
            “we had 354 in April this year
            We have 280 permanent ones now, and will have a winter capacity of 297.”

            So, Cian – can you deal with those figures and not the one I hooked your interest with? Without deflection / distraction?

          10. Cian

            It’s a ‘no’.

            I don’t want to read through a 11-year old recommendation to the HSE.

            But you are still wrong when you said in 2009 there were 579 ICU beds… and still wrong when you said 390, because there were (according to your link) 298.

        2. ReproBertie

          Not having addressed the ICU beds doesn’t mean ICU beds are not a driving force behind NPHET’s decisions.

          1. GiggidyGoo

            No, but it has shown up what they should be addressing – and given that most are career HSE’ers and Civil Servants, they need to be brought to book for not including it in their pronouncements and decisions.

          1. Nigel

            Yes, I know.
            It’s absolutely terrible for them, yes.
            It’s not MY alternative, I just don’t what alternative you’re driving at.

          2. GiggidyGoo

            Well, what it’s not, is a case of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

            An alternative is to go the herd immunity route. You may say that it will put say, older people’s lives at risk. But they can isolate and try avoid it. But as regards cancer patients, they don’t have such a choice regarding having their treatment postponed, thus placing they at a higher death risk than isolating older people.

            Other alternatives I don’t know, but surely you and others have some ideas outside of what’s being put out there by Nphet?

          3. Nigel

            Even the blood-drinking Tories didn’t dare go don the herd immunity route. If you want other ideas, go look at what pandemic experts are saying.

          4. GiggidyGoo

            And isn’t that just the type information that SOQ has been providing for months now?
            Experts. You can’t just pick and choose which expert is correct when you’re not an expert yourself mind you – neither should you follow the, ahem, herd.

          5. Nigel

            I don’t find SOQ persuasive. Saying that here is someone who disagrees with the consensus, therefore the consensus is definitively wrong is incredibly bad logic.

          6. GiggidyGoo

            Whether you find SOQ persuasive or not is beside the point.

            The experts whose opinions that he draws upon (and provides links to) are the ones whose views worth considering. Whether you agree with them or not, they have as much education and experience as the experts whose opinions you draw upon.

            If you don’t consider other opinions, then you can’t change them. If you only change them when your own experts change them, you’re not looking at a fuller picture. (That fuller picture may well cement you to your experts opinion, but at least you’ve looked at alternatives.)

          7. Nigel

            I don’t find him persuasive, I don’t find them persuasive, I don’t find you persuasive. Way too much magical thinking, way too much kettle logic, way too much picking and choosing, way too many speaking with authority outside their areas of expertise. A few studies or scientific opinions going against the consensus do not overthrow the consensus.

          8. GiggidyGoo

            Ah yeah – I get it. The ‘don’t bother me, I’m happy where I am, and not prepared to consider anything else’ attitude.

            Not worth spending any more time discussing anything with you then.

        3. GiggidyGoo

          Of course you don’t want to read through it. Sure why do that? A quick glance gives you all the information you require.
          And then you’re afraid to deal with the figures, which I repeated in my last post? As you say yourself, you’re not prepared to deal with them.
          Not often I’d use the term ‘Busted Flush’ Cian, but you’re just that.

          1. Cian

            Where did you get that only 33 beds are in use?

            Considering there is usually a 75%+ occupancy of ICU

          2. ReproBertie

            Sorry, I’m wrong. It’s 33 beds AVAILABLE, not 33 occupied.

            Priscilla Lynch – Clinical Editor, Medical Independent said on Prime Time last night “The ICU beds are full in a number of Dublin Hospitals already, and while there is some capacity, it’s more so in the counties which have lower numbers of Covid 19. We have seen cases where CUH and TUH have had to cancel some elective surgery in the last couple of weeks. This is early enough for this to be happening so clearly the ICU bed capacity is a continuing issue in our system. And, in the short term, yes we can stop services and we can ramp up our ICU capacity but that’s to the detriment of other patients.”

            This was followed with figures form the HSE Daily Operations reports saying that on October 1st there were 39 available ICU beds and that as of October 5th there were 33.

      2. SOQ

        It’s not that difficult to understand that they frig all to increase the number of ICU beds in the interim. Instead they want to lock the entire country down and close more business for good- that is not proactive management by any yard stick.

        1. ReproBertie

          Agreed, much more should have been done about ICU beds but they didn’t so now we have to live with that reality.

        2. Cian

          Paul Reid told the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee
          – Pre-Covid capacity: 225
          – Temporary surge capacity: 354
          – Current permanent capacity: 280 <<< current level
          – Capacity after Winter Plan funding: 297

          We have a permanent increase of 24%; and funding for this to be a 32% increase.

          A little more than "frig all".

          1. GiggidyGoo

            Except it’s still just over half what the HSE themselves said were needed (with less of a population) back in 2009.


            Back in 2009, the number of ICU beds was 390 approx. Today’s 280 permanent capacity is 28% less than the 2009 capacity.

            Still working on ‘frig all’?

          2. Cian

            You still haven’t shown any evidence for the number of ICU beds in 2009. You are just spitting out numbers.

            Either way the adults are talking about the increase in ICU this year.

          3. GiggidyGoo

            I’ve provided it above. I hope you’re adult enough to be able to read and understand it. They show the failure of successive governments, mainly FG mind you and its various Health ministers (Varadkar + Harris to be specific) and dysfunctional top tier in the HSE to address the ICU situation over 11 years.

            So your attempt to put a gloss on a current figure and hail it as a success fails drastically when in fact the truth of the matter, the relevant figure shows failure.

  10. GiggidyGoo

    (of course not to mention that frontline workers were caught up in this debacle. Nurses, doctors, delivery drivers, chemists etc. etc.)
    Police Constable Harris needs to go.

  11. bisted

    …phew…lt’s been a long haul but the pro-sickness brigade have finally admitted that their solution is to let the virus spread…acheive herd immunity…but…nobody is prepared to say what they consider to be an acceptable level of deaths…

    1. GiggidyGoo

      So any extra deaths this year will be Covid-related, and not say, lack of cancer treatment related, or lack of flu treatment related etc. illnesses which were put on the back burner due to Covid?

      1. bisted

        …I think an oncologist like our Prof Crown or someone administering flu vaccines like pharmacist Kate O’Connell would be horrified at the suggestion that people would die despite their efforts…what you are suggesting is to let a virus spread unhindered…so…what do you consider to be an acceptable number of deaths from the action you are proposing…

      2. Nigel

        People undergoing cancer treatments are particularly vulnerable to covid, you know. It’s not either/or. If the health service is overwhelmed it affects everyone needing any kind of treatment. If it’s overwhelmed with a contagious viral infection anyone with a weakened immune system is at even more risk.

        1. Junkface


          Good point!

          Also I would add, because of social distancing, mask wearing and better hand hygiene, the flu case numbers are down so far this year. I think Australia and New Zealand put up their winter numbers.

          Getting the Flu vaccine is still a good idea though, especially for the elderly.

        2. GiggidyGoo

          Nobody’s disagreeing with you Nigel.

          You may say that it will put older people’s or people with bad immune systems lives at risk. But they can isolate and try avoid it. By doing so they can avoid hospitalization for Covid. They have a choice.
          But as regards cancer patients, they don’t have the luxury of choice regarding having their treatment postponed, and that may place them at a higher death risk than Covid- isolating older people.

          1. Nigel

            So you can (can you? The logistics seem vague) isolate the vulnerable – aside from older people, that’s a fairly large if nebulous section of the population. EXCEPT cancer patients, who are vulnerable, but who are doubly at risk becuase they need treatment, therefore they have to traval through public spaces, possibly on public transport, to hospitals and clinics that may be full of people with covid. THIS MAKES NO SENSE.

            With covid out there and no vaccine, cancer patients are at risk whether there’s a lockdown or not. Using their plight as an argument against lockdown is meaningless. Cancer patients are best served by the transmission of covid being kept as low as possible for as long as possible, as are all other vulnerable groups. ‘Herd immunity’ is the opposite of keeping transmission low.

          2. GiggidyGoo

            Well a group that are at risk have the choice to isolate and protect themselves mostly – the elderly and those with a bad immune system for example.

            Part of that group are a group that need medical treatment. They don’t have a choice. They can be moved by ambulance in a protected environment to receive such treatment, or by someone who they live with. I somehow doubt that many cancer patients travel alone.

          3. Nigel

            Helicopters. That’s what we need. Lots of helicopters, and medical facilities where nobody has covid.

          4. GiggidyGoo

            Very mature Nigel. No point in arguing with such a strong point.
            Sorry for bothering you – I though you were bright enough to debate with. Obviously not.

          5. bisted

            …ok lads…you’ve done cancer sufferers…I think…any of you want to answer the substantive question…how many do you consider a legitimate death target to achieve your herd immunity?

  12. Micko


    The old mask on or off debate. It seems it’s all we talk about around here.
    You’re either saving the world or a mass murderering psycho in some people’s eyes.

    Lots of people on here advocating the wearing of masks. But why?

    If you were wearing one before the became mandatory (late July) then fill your boots, you obviously made the decision to wear one, for yourself – good for you.

    If you’re wearing one only after that date, then you’re ONLY doing it because someone in government told you to.

    You can dress it up as much as you like and tell yourself “you’re saving the world”, but you’re only doing it because you were commanded to.

    And some of us don’t like that and think it’s wrong. What’s so hard to understand?

      1. Micko

        I do, I also drive around blaring out ‘Killing in the name’ just so everyone knows how much of a rebel I am.


    1. ReproBertie

      Even though I’m a prolific hugger, I’m maintaining a 2m social distance but only because I was commanded to. I don’t like it but that doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore it based on my own personal feelings. The same goes for mask wearing.

      What’s so hard to understand about that?

    2. Nigel

      ‘Can’t wear a mask during a viral pandemic because the government suggested it’ is the absolute dizzying height of stupidity. Wearing a mask might help curb the contagion, but unfortinately, it’ll also damge your self-image as a sturdy individualist. Tough call.

      1. ian-oh

        No, these people are free thinkers who think for themselves, that they also happen to think the same as people like David Icke and Alex Jones is clearly coincidental.

        Also, they are special, they ‘get it’ and are the truly woke, they took a Matrix pill (no idea which one, rainbow maybe?) and now they see the world as it truly is.

        They are so special that they want to tell us all how special they are but here on the pasture I just wait for the farmer to bring me to the happy valley where all the other compliant sheep went, yay!

        I wish I was special, clearly I am not though, because I haven’t watched a youtube video explaining how my 9th dimensional self can be unlocked for the low low price of $99,999.99 (Uganda dollars, so not too much).


        1. Micko


          Have you been looking at my diary?

          Yup, I have David Icke on speed dial and Alex Jones is my pen pal – going way back before he was cool.

          And I’m on the 10th dimension self level – hello???

          pfft…. Clearly you know nothing about the Cult of the Lizard people.

          P.S I am also in the Stonecutters.. “WE DO!”

    3. Micko

      So, that’s all great and…

      I’ll ask again, which ones of you were wearing them before it became mandatory (fashionable)?

      The mental gymnastics some of you must have gone through to convince yourselves that “I’m saving people, I’m a hero. I’m like an essential worker – just like a doctor.”

      1. Junkface


        What does that prove?

        I bought an N95 mask in February after reading about the unknown new virus. What does that prove? I was concerned, a bit scared of a new airborne virus. I didn’t wear it until the numbers went up fast in March. It was not a case of it becoming fashionable, but more about new knowledge of the virus from health experts on the news etc.

        1. Micko

          That great Junkface.

          Good for you. You thought about it and made a decision to the best of the knowledge that you had. Well done for you. No issue, it’s just not for me.

          My issue is with the people who were forced to wear one after someone in government decided for them in late July and are now going around shaming and blaming others for not doing as they were forced to do.

          In my opinion masks do very little and they were only brought in as a tool to convince people who were very nervous to return to shopping.

          Especially after the Government looked at the money coming in and realised that so much of it was going to Jeff bloody Bezos and not Irish stores.

          I also belive it’s a very politicised issue. With scientists on both sides simultaneously advocating and deriding it .

          Which says to me – it’s rubbish science.

          1. Nigel

            ‘With scientists on both sides simultaneously advocating and deriding it. Which says to me – it’s rubbish science.’

            Wow. Just… wow.

          2. Commenter #1

            I like this ontological curveball. If there is any disagreement about a hypothesis, then the hypothesis is false.

            This will be useful!

          3. Micko

            That’s great and all gents – very constructive stuff.

            You still havn’t answered my questions lads?

            Are you wearing one because you were told to or because you chose to?

            I bet you don’t even know anymore… enjoy yer face nappies! ;-P

      2. Nigel

        Th’is is just a nasty personal attack on people wearing masks, creating straw man motivations and too cool for school, I-was-into-the-band-BEFORE-they-got-famous sneering. It is small and petty and mean. I assume you’re a grown-up, please act like one.

          1. Nigel

            Well for what it\s worth, I shall forever hold ‘well were you wearing a mask BEFORE the government recommended it?’ to represent the height of your argumentative abilities.

  13. Formerly known as

    They know how to over simplify things.

    “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. ”

    – What herd immunity? It is not proven.

    – This mythcal protection of those at highest risk is impossible. All the vulnerable interact with people, who interact with other people, who interact with other people. Show me one country where the vulnerable were protected this way. It is not possible. What % of the population do they class as vulnerable? I would guess 25% – good luck with that.

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