Eamonn Kelly: Clean Bill Of Health


From top: Tanaiste Leo Varadkar on RTÉ One’s Prime Time with Miriam O’Callaghan; Eamonn Kelly

The week that was

On Friday some clarity was brought to bear on the efficacy or otherwise of the vaccines, by Dr Anne Moore, senior lecturer in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UCC. She spoke with Bryan Dobson on RTÉ Radio’s News at One.

Dr Moore said:

“…these vaccines aren’t made or designed to prevent transmission…they’ve fantastic ability to keep people out of hospital; but they’re not going to prevent transmission in the community and we need to be aware of that.”

Clearly this revelation got through to all the unmasked people queuing outside nightclubs during the week.

Meanwhile infections rose among hospital staff, curtailing health services, while a new delta variant is reported in the UK. Paul Reid called for booster shots for healthcare staff, while the taoiseach, speaking in Brussels, said that annual booster jabs, like the flu jab, may become the norm.

By week’s end the Tánaiste announced that the virus would be here “forever”. And forever, as the song says, is a long, long time; certainly, more than the previously predicted six months.

Claire Byrne Live

On Monday, the Claire Byrne Live show conducted a poll of 1,000 respondents (no details of demographics, class etc were provided) and asked them were they in favour of mandatory vaccination. The response was scary, but not really surprising for Ireland, which appears to have a long, unaddressed authoritarian thing going on. 46% were in favour of mandatory vaccination, the result arguably saying more about Irish people than it does about vaccination.

On the same show, journalist Joe O’Shea claimed to be shocked by this support for mandatory vaccination, but recommended an equally intolerant “compelling” of people by effectively locking them out of “our” society. Using vaccine certs as a tool, what he was recommending was a kind of siege on a target minority.

If everyone in a contained space was admitted to that space on the strength of a vaccine cert, does this ensure that the virus does not exist in that space? Joe O’Shea certainly seemed to think so, but, given Dr Anne Moore’s warning, things may not be so clear-cut.

A vaccine cert only proves that you have had the recommended vaccines, but doesn’t prove that you are asymptomatic. The vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission.

So, the collective possession of covid certs in a closed space does not indicate absence of the virus, or protection from the virus. The certs only provide proof that all present have been vaccinated.

Prime Time

The Tánaiste braved RTE’s Prime Time on Tuesday to face some pointed questions from Miriam O’Callaghan on his contribution towards the dismantling of the public health service, as minister for Health, as Taoiseach and as Tánaiste. To which the Tánaiste responded in his defence that the government has an arrangement with private hospitals to take on any overspill, should the need arise.

And, presumably, any over spill of extra public money that might be lying around, which would likely be much safer in private hands anyway.

A cynic might say that a qualified doctor overseeing the dismantling of a public health service is hardly in the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath.

On Wednesday, Senator Sharon Keogan called attention to the growing discrimination against those who have chosen not to be vaccinated. She described to the Senate the demonising of a minority being led by well-known media personalities.

Kathy Sheridan

On the same day Kathy Sheridan lost the run of herself in the IT and wrote the most amazing article, conflating people who haven’t been vaccinated with online trolls, violent insurrectionists and the murderer of the unfortunate David Amess MP. She was fired up on similar energy exhibited by Joe O’Shea on the Claire Byrne Live show.

But I must have imagined all that, because Áine Lawlor said on Morning Ireland that she hadn’t seen or heard any vilification of the unvaccinated.

If a tree falls in a forest and Áine Lawlor isn’t there to witness it, did the tree fall at all?

The Good and the Angry

The problem of the virus may be as much about how Irish people are handling the crisis as it is about how we are dealing with the virus. So far, we have been very self-congratulatory about the 90% uptake of the vaccine, which is the best uptake in Europe, even if the infection rate is the worst in Europe.

But it is as if there is a shadow side to this compliant behaviour. We like ourselves when we’re being “good” and agreeable, and we hate those, with apparent equal intensity and self-righteousness, who we deem to be not “good”, by failing to conform to current herd consensus.

The flaring tempers are eerily familiar. The spectre of angry, unhinged authority still ghosts around the folk memory, threatening with righteous anger all those who would dare to defy its power.

Eamonn Kelly is a Galway-based  freelance Writer and Playwright. His weekly round-up appears usually here every Monday (but owing to the Bank Holiday it was delayed for a day).

Pic via Twitter

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47 thoughts on “Eamonn Kelly: Clean Bill Of Health

          1. Micko


            That wasn’t a question you asked, it was a statement.

            Let me explain. Ahem..

            ‘I say, have you seen a mental health professional yet old boy?’

            See, THAT was a question. The question mark at the end is a dead give away.

            Every day is a learning day eh?

    1. galaxiapolizia

      +1 E.K.

      Noonan, Martin, Harney, Reilly, Harris, Donnelly,
      Vardakar* fumbling in the greasy till, blundering from incompetence to
      repeated catastrophes … While vulnerable human beings die.

      *: a qualified G.P … “first, do no harm”???

  1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    Are you suggesting the brain prepped by the Catholic church is ripe for authority and glee at punishment ? I’d agree.

    1. Fergalito

      If ever there was a meaty conversation for a quiet corner of a decent pub with excellent Guinness then this is certainly it ….

      **looks at watch**


  2. Nigel

    Caught between the twin horns of the laziest Irish journalism – bad scence reporting about the cuases of the current rise in cases, and concern trolling about the poor science reporting and the ‘dark side’ of things.

  3. Diddy

    What do you need to travel to countries with high incidences of tropical diseases? Oh yes , a MANDATORY vaccine.

    1. E'Matty

      Travel vaccination, where one chooses to travel or not, is not comparable to vaccines being forced on you by the State just to live in your own country though, is it? Bit of a child-like comparison to make. The travel vaccines have invariably been on the market for years too and are not rushed to market new types of never before used “Vaccines” with no medium to long term safety data.

      The trials you trust so implicitly (all it took was a few important sounding individuals and organisations to vouch for them and you were convinced) didn’t even identify the now well known short term adverse effects such as the blood clots, myocarditis or Guillan Barre syndrome. Yet, despite completely missing these short term adverse reactions you’ve been completely convinced by false assurances of their medium to long term safety. No evidence or science required. A voice of authority said it and, as a result, you just believe it.

      People like you trust authority simply because it is authority. The wiser amongst us know better.

      1. Cian

        Every time you take any medicine – you are putting your trust in the drugs “authority”.

        Every time you get in a car or bus or lift or airplane – you are putting your trust in the safety “authority”.

        Every time you plug in or use an electrical item – you are putting your trust in the safety “authority”.

        Every time you eat any food (unless you grew it yourself) – you are putting your trust in the food “authority”.

        You are no “wiser” than those that took the vaccine. Just scared.

        1. E'Matty

          No. The intelligent person assesses the integrity and trustworthiness of that authority and examines for conflicts of interest. People like you have this inate trust in organisations like the WHO simply because they are a large global organisation. The fact they are funded by Big Pharma financial interests and are therefore completely conflicted and compromised doesn’t enter your mind. They are official. You obey anything “official” simply because it’s official.

          The herd types even celebrate this unquestioning obedience to authority by mocking anyone for “doing own own research”. Using Google to find information is sneered at despite it being the effective search engine for the library of the world, such information cannot be identified by ordinary people the sheeple believe. You must have such information processed and conveyed to you by a mainstream media source before it becomes ‘real’. Questioning so called experts is not allowed. In fact, it’s tantamount to mental illness. “Sane” people don’t ever question the government approved narrative. In your vision of democracy, all opinions and views must be in line with the position of the government of the days approved “experts” on the subject, no matter how illogical or contradictory their interpretation or advice. You guys literally revel in never thinking for yourself. Blind unquestioning obedience to authority a virtue to not only be celebrated, but enforced and coerced if necessary.

  4. Clampers Outside

    Claire Byrne show viewership is majority over 45, with a strong ABC1 skew…. which may give some indication of the polling demographic.

  5. oilfoster

    Vradkar’s defence of his incompetence in Health was
    “But shur we didn’t run out of ventilators”

    The Millionaire GP

  6. Cian

    So far, we have been very self-congratulatory about the 90% uptake of the vaccine, which is the best uptake in Europe, even if the infection rate is the worst in Europe.

    Ireland are doing well with vaccines, but are slightly behind the EU countries Malta, Spain, Denmark, Italy

    Ireland is doing badly with cases, but are ahead of the 9 EU countries namely Latvia (8,926 cases in last 7 days /1m pop), Estonia 7,520, Lithuania 7,380, Slovenia 5,828, Romania 5,439 , UK (ex-EU) 4,577, Croatia 4,364, Bulgaria 4,318, Slovakia 3,568, Belgium 3,161, finally Ireland 3,000

    But, for once, I agree with you. The vaccine certs should not be used for entry to shops, pubs, restaurants, clubs, etc…

  7. Nullzero

    We really do enjoy getting patted on the head by authority figures in this country, but not as much as we like to turn on those who aren’t being patted on the head.

    It seems to be built into the Irish psyche, it used to be adherence to religious dogma that fuelled that type of behaviour. Now it’s adherence to notional scientific dogma. All in the name of getting back to “normal”.

    We all want easy answers to difficult questions but sometimes (like with this pandemic) the answers aren’t easy, there isn’t a panacea to be taken to make it all go away. The harsh reality of life is too inconvenient so we need a scapegoat. Humans really are stupid, particularly in groups.

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