Grand Canal at Portobello Harbour, Dublin 8 last night

This morning.

Via former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell In The Irish Times [full article at link below]:

…We do know that the health establishment is constantly conducting rolling public opinion surveys, and that helpful parts of that research are fed out to the media from time to time. We are all being monitored carefully.

And you don’t have to be Prof Dolores Cahill to feel a little uneasy about that. The public mood is not merely monitored; it is to some extent created.

Media advertisements “brought to you by the Government of Ireland” or by State-funded or State-owned agencies in support of solidarity serve twin purposes – they subsidise cash-starved (and sometimes unchallenging) media and they feed into public opinion to be surveyed, reported and fed into policymaking.

Our friend An Garda Síochána also plays a major part in mood creation. “Grim” was the adjective given to the Nphet’s current analysis in “off the record” briefings by the AGS. Can we see the grim analysis, please?

…The truth is that the dam of public patience has already cracked and broken. With longer evenings and warmer weather, younger generations have taken to the outdoors. Walks in the parks or down the Grand Canal or along the Dodder valley tell me their own tale. Reopening the schools and associated activity must be a driver of community transmission too. The virus doesn’t distinguish radically between 17-year-olds and 19-year-olds.

Community transmission is going to remain high until mass vaccination makes an impression. Seasonal aspects of the pandemic and of social behaviour are obvious and irresistible. You simply cannot drive the population back into their own houses for May and June. We have to plan accordingly…

The dam of public patience has already cracked and broken (Michael McDowell, Irish Times)


Last night: Portomello

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27 thoughts on “Dam Busters

  1. Micko

    Good point.

    “Can we see the grim analysis, please?”

    “Are you a doctor or a scientist? No? Well then you couldn’t POSSIBLY understand it. Now do as you’re told! Only we may interpret the scriptures… emmm, I mean Data”

    This all sounds so familiar…

  2. JEH


    We’ve been locked up for a year with a carrot of freedom in a few weeks perpetually dangling in front of us. The numbers are never going to go below their threshold for reopening because the wheels have come off. Even those of us who have followed every restriction, every guideline, every lockdown, now a year in are tired of a government strategy that has tried absolutely nothing beyond a lockdown level with on/off positions.

  3. Mr. T

    I for one cant wait for the next crippling blow to the Irish economy, 10 years of a semi-functioning economy since the last one, not a bad highscore

    1. Micko


      Because they’ve been SUPER successful since they were introduced 9 months ago in August.

      Cases Aug 10th – 26,768
      Cases yesterday – 235,444

      Science baby YEAH!!

      I can feel a “ratlicker” reply post coming ;)

      1. ReproBertie

        Is everyone wearing a mask and correctly Micko? Is everyone obeying the other restrictions? Nobody meeting more then one other household and always outdoors and only for exercise? Nobody organising indoor or outdoor events? No group training taking place indoors or outdoors? Are we dealing with a variant of the virus that spreads at a much higher rate than the original? Could it be that it’s not just about the masks? I did get a chuckle from your moan about not been shown the data and then blithely ignoring all the factors that lead to the spread of the virus to have a stab at masks so thanks for that.

          1. ReproBertie

            Not everyone else Micko, just those who are spreading the virus because they don’t believe in it or in the restrictions.

            No surprise that you choose to ignore everything in the post to throw up a childish response though. I expected nothing less.

          2. Micko

            “Just those who are spreading the virus”

            Do you think that is a large number or a small number of people?

          3. ReproBertie

            What I consider a large or small number may not be the same as what you consider a large or small number. In the past 7 days we conducted over 125K tests and found over 4,100 new cases. If the R number is 1, and we’re told it’s close to 1, then every one of those cases can cause another. Is over 4,100 cases per week a large number? How many weeks of 4,100 new cases do we need before we hit what is considered a large number?

            If we look at the last fortnight Dublin has had 3,315 new cases. Leitrim has had 22 and Sligo just 39. Is it fair that Leitrim and Sligo be left under the same restrictions as Dublin? I don’t think so but I know that if restrictions were eased in Sligo and Leitrim people would descend on those counties to get their hair cut or whatever and then there’d be a spike in Leitrim and Sligo and they’re back to square one.

            There’s nothing fair about the restrictions at all but ignoring them or jaqing off about masks or just ignoring the restrictions because they’re annoying gains us nothing.

            How do you think the virus is being spread?

          4. Micko

            I don’t care.

            Bertie, I’d be more concerned about the fact that you (and all of us) know so much about this virus.

            Look at the post you just stuck up.

            This is not normal man. We are obsessed. It is all consuming. We’re all like mini virologists. Seriously, look at the detail in your post.

            Why do you know what the hell an R number is or how many infections there have been on a county by county basis.

            Why the fuppin hell do we need to know how many cases Germany has FFS?

            Look at what we’re doing.

            The people in the pics above enjoying themselves. – THAT IS NORMAL!

            And we’ve been so messed up by this thing, that when we see normal behaviour now – ye know, people actually living!

            Well, then we give out about it and want people arrested.


          5. ReproBertie

            I tried to answer your question Micko. You could have had the decency to do the same with mine. How do you think the virus is being spread?

            Why wouldn’t we know about something that has been dominating life globally for the past year? I know how many cases there have been on a county by county basis because I looked it up. Some may take comfort in ignoring it all but that’s not the way I work. I prefer to approach a discussion with facts, not feelings and anecdotes. I found posting here about it made it more of an obsession and it was impacting on my mood in the real world so I walked away. I’ll be doing so again because, after a year of this, nothing has changed here.

            Yes, what those people are doing is normal and the weird pause state that is currently forced on us is anything but normal. Do you think I don’t want to be in the pub or out for dinner or meeting family and friends? Moaning that it’s weird and not fair won’t stop the virus spreading. Carrying on like it doesn’t exist won’t stop the virus spreading. The more cases we get the bigger the likelihood of mutations leading to new strains and all we need now is vaccine resistant strains to prolong the restrictions.

            It sucks but sometimes being a grown up means accepting the reality and dealing with it. We’ve seen the numbers so, despite the constant negativity from some quarters, we know the vaccines are being administered and we know the vaccines are working. The slight easing of restrictions coming in April are little more than a PR stunt to get us to hang on a little longer while more people get vaccinated. The normality above will return but that return can be delayed by people acting like it is already here.

          6. Junkface

            I think the only very successful lockdown was in China. That’s because anyone who disobeys or rebels against it are kidnapped, punished, beaten into submission, or else never seen again. Democratic countries cannot expect the same obedience, that’s why lockdowns have only been semi-successfull. Vaccinations, thankfully are the answer to get us out of these lockdowns and back to normality.

            I for one have obeyed the lockdowns, but I am sick of it all. I will be hanging out in the parks as much as possible now, or having friends over for BBQ’s in the garden, since it just got much warmer.

          7. Micko

            Well, Bertie,think I did answer your question.

            I don’t care how it is spread.

            Because the level of restrictions required to “theoretically” crush this virus is not worth it.

            Missed medical screenings, missed diagnoses, children’s education and development being affected, (they can’t even buy kids shoes FFS) the small business sector destroyed, arts and music culture eroded, peoples mental health in the bin.

            Poverty rising, billionaires grip on the global economy strengthening – I mean WTF man!

            It’s not worth it. What level of restrictions would YOU put in place to crush this thing?

            Because, people are showing you it’s not worth it by their behaviour.

            And it’s glorious :)

          8. ReproBertie

            “I don’t care how it is spread.”
            And that’s the key really isn’t it?

            I’ve only myself to blame for bothering to engage. Thankfully you are in the minority.

          9. Cian

            Missed medical screenings, missed diagnoses, children’s education and development being affected, (they can’t even buy kids shoes FFS) the small business sector destroyed, arts and music culture eroded, peoples mental health in the bin.

            If we let the virus spread uncontrolled (as you seem to suggest) the hospitals will be overflowing with Covid cases and you know what happens next? they halt screening & new diagnosis.

            If we let the virus spread, then the death rate will go up (1 out of every 425 person in Czecia has died as a result of Covid in the last 6 months.) But I’ll bet their arts, music, culture and mental health are top notch.

          10. ReproBertie

            “The people who are correct usually are in the minority”

            The people who understand the need for restrictions are in the minority on this website so I’ll agree with you there.

          11. Micko

            Yeah Cian, that argument doesn’t wash anymore.

            We have vaccines now.

            Let everyone who is vulnerable stay in and wait for the vaccine and let everyone else get back to normal. We could even organise a “do the shopping for your local grannie campaign” ;)

            Also, stop comparing countries. It’s pointless and makes you look silly. Too many variables.

        1. wearnicehats

          A significant number of people are doing none of the above because they’ve had enough and are just going about life again. Every park was rammed yesterday.

          It’s great to see

          Ironically outdoor dining and drinking effectively happening everywhere except where it can be controlled. Hard for hospitality owners to watch

  4. ce

    Anyway, litter being left by people with and without masks… seriously how hard is it not to leave your crap everywhere, really depressing how bad it is in our various town, cities, etc.

  5. Clampers Outside

    I don’t get this kids shoes problem…. Bought a pair for the wee man in Mum N’ Me two weeks ago. Checked online, tried them on in the shop, job done.

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