“At What Point Will This Stop?”



Dail Eireann.

Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly spoke during a debate on the extension of Covid regulations under the Health and Criminal Justice (Covid-19) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2021.

Ms Connolly said:

“At what point will this stop? I do not mean the ever-changing virus. I do not mean the need for us to make our people safe and have a public health structure on the ground that is fit for purpose and hospitals that are fit for purpose. When will the never-ending regulations without scrutiny stop?

I mean the ones that give the Minister unlimited power to decide I need three boosters to have a cup of coffee or I need five boosters to have a pint or six boosters to stay a couple of hours to have dinner. At what stage will that stop or has the Minister ever even thought about that?

“They are very serious topics that should be discussed. We should discuss where we are going with the pharma solution to this, which should be only one part of it. Of course, all the while the rich countries, including this one, seem to have endless pockets and the poorer countries have no access, and there is no equity of access for them.

“I indicated on Second Stage that I was against this Bill. I was keeping an open mind about amendments, but it seems that the Minister has indicated by his silence that he will not accept any of them. That is entirely unacceptable and undemocratic.

The approach of the Government poses the most serious threat to our democratic system and to the sense of solidarity we all should have with one another in dealing with the public health crisis.

Earlier: Beg For Pause

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59 thoughts on ““At What Point Will This Stop?”

      1. Cui Bono?

        I think the last 2 years has shown we need to stop all political parties and move to a system with only independents.

        There has to be a few critical thinkers who see what’s happening in each of the main parties.

        1. Tom J

          Independents Will never get an overall majority, because they are not answerable to anyone but themselves.
          Where as party members are answerable to the people and the party they represent.

        2. Johnny 'Diego' Keenan

          Absolutely CB. I’d cal it a Meritocracy.

          Considering we have such a small population a government of specific department professionals is easily applicabke.

    1. Micko

      Fair play to them.

      The whole thing reminds me of the church.

      “Our experts say we have to do this”

      “Oh, ok. Can I see the research?”

      “You wouldn’t understand it. It’s… in Latin. Only the special chosen experts can talk to God. Sorry… I mean ‘understand it’ “

      Irish society has fallen for the same trick again.

      1. Zaccone


        Its also the complete condemnation of anyone who even suggests questioning the official narrative even slightly.

        Someone can be completely in favour of vaccines, have followed all government advice etc, but as soon as the point out that the government for months said covid doesn’t spread in schools, so why are kids being asked to wear masks, they’re called an EVIL ANTI VAXXER.

        Theres just a complete effort to vilify any semblance of critical/independent thought. No public debate is allowed on anything. Which is very, very like the Catholic church days.

        1. Gavin

          ^ This ^…The demonizing of anyone who steps outside the narrative is disgusting, disgracefull, and quite scary to watch. Im jabbed, I wear a mask, but there is a lot of this I just dont agree with, that doesn’t make me “ANTI-VAX”. And the media involvement in this raises serious questions.

          1. Fergalito

            Couldn’t agree more.

            I was asked if I was one of those anti-vaxx headbangers when I wondered out loud what had changed when comparing the present with this time last year. I also wondered why healthy kids aged 5-11 need the vaccine.

            I’ll keep my hysterical questions to myself in future. Good says some of ye…

          2. Nigel

            As a brainwashed cultists, a paid government shill, an ignorant stupid sheep-person, a willing participant in the greatest crime ever perpetrated on humanity, a deluded idiot, a troll, paid or otherwise, etc, I feel your pain.

        2. Nigel

          ‘but as soon as the point out that the government for months said covid doesn’t spread in schools, so why are kids being asked to wear masks, they’re called an EVIL ANTI VAXXER.’

          I’ve said most of this a couple of times now. Nobody’s called me an anti-vaxxer. You criticise government actions all the time, and maybe i missed it, but I’ve never seen you called an anti-vaxxer. And yet there are undeniably commenters here who hold the most bizarre views about the pandemic and the vaccines.

          The rhetoric of complaining about ‘questioing narratives’ and complaining about being labeled as consipracy nuts or anti-vaxxers is there to obscure the fact that their beliefs are bizarre and nobody with credibility is going to stand up and proclaim them in a public forum like the Dail. Honestly these complaints are just noise, equating their fringe views being treated as fringe with some sort of oppression. Well, it ain’t. We debate them here day in and day out, and they’re not slow to aim invective at me, or to tell me to go away, or characterise my views as, well, see Micko’s discourse on religion. It’s hypocritical of them to do so, but God knows we talk about enough inane things, nobody wants to get into whether the guys complaining about being called names calling other people names is hypocrisy or not.

          As for the Dail, being in opposition is practically a license to be contrarian. If the opposition parties are staying quiet it’s out of political calculation, or, to take a more geneous view, because they don’t know how to define the role of effective opposition during an unprecedented public health crisis, and not because they’re being silenced. I expect it doesn’t actually help that when an Independent speaks up like this they get love-bombed by the fringe. Anyone with half a brain would be leery of where seeking out that kind of support would lead.

          1. Darrens

            Nigel.. the closing statement you make that ‘anyone with half a brain would… ‘
            I wonder is that unintentional or do you mean to cite intelligence as being particular to your side of the ‘debate’? Where it is that any politician is being clear about the value they hold for considerations which are alternative to those proposed as it appears in perpetuity about this or any matter then it need not be the cynicism of the understandably jaded public ear that shuts them down. . This is as true for connollys outspoken views on the redress mother and baby scheme as it is any matter of broad public concern.

          2. Nigel

            I’m sorry, despite my supposed claims to have a monopoly on intelligence, i can’t parse most of your comment, but then again if that’s what you got out of my comment, you didn’t parse it very well either.

          3. f_lawless

            Nigel -you have a boundless capacity for pseudo-intellectualism. Comment after comment amounts to the same thing: the use of strawman arguments – invoking caricatured, extreme versions of those who hold opposing views to you and “othering” with blanket ad hominem labels – so that, in your mind, you can position yourself as the rational, moderate opinion. It’s a coping mechanism, a way to distract yourself from the current reality that is unfolding in countries around the world – a reality which is too out of step with your pre-existing world view for you to reconcile. You don’t demonstrate that you come on here to debate in an honest form. As you previously put it yourself, you’re trying to “exert control” – but it’s over a situation you’re unable to come to terms with.

          4. Nigel

            ‘invoking caricatured, extreme versions of those who hold opposing views to you and “othering” with blanket ad hominem labels’

            Were you vaccinated young, or do you have a natural immunity to irony?

            Please go over to the Turbulent Year story then come back and tell me with a straight face that I’m caricaturing anyone.

          5. Clampers Outside !

            ‘invoking caricatured, extreme versions of those who hold opposing views to you and “othering” with blanket ad hominem labels’

            Ahahahahahahahaha… so true, so very very true F_lawless.

            Nigel is like a broken record the way he rolls out that poop tactic over and over.

            Well said F!

          6. Nigel

            Is it at all worth pointing out that so far there have been loads of comments lamenting how anyone who ‘steps outside the approved narrative’ gets labeled anti-vaxxer or conspiracy nut, but so far not one single comment has actually labelled Catherine Connolly an anti-vaxxer or conspiracy nut?
            Thought not. Carry on.

        3. Jerr

          Mattie mc Grath raised a question about what proof is there that the covid pass stops the spread of covid
          Of course they have no proof

          Now we hear another jab will be needed

          I believe in the vaccine it’s like a flu jab
          That’s where it ends
          I do not believe in state control or persecuting
          This government is doing just that

        4. White Dove

          ‘very, very like the Catholic church days’

          Well it’s pretty easy to know now who would have been sending the girls to the Magdalen homes if time travel back to the 60s existed. There’s a strong authoritarian streak in the Irish personality it seems.

          1. benblack

            The power has shifted – the result will be more of the same.

            All sociopaths, psychopaths, peadophiles, and all sorts of disordered people are drawn to the power structures of the society they find themselves in – hiding in plain sight, and protected by these same power structures, is always the objective of every deranged predator.

      2. anolderman

        Yes 100% the sons of the fathers. I always wondered how/why the Irish gave up their grain to go home to die. As I see the queues of zombies lining up to be injected I shudder. Its 2+1 with another 3 for the latest = 6 then 1-2 each year for life. This will be like the nibs & mabs that were to cure cancer at 100k a pop. Twas BS I know I paid it. CDC is to change definition of fully vaccinated again. The war to end all wars over the top to your fate. White feathers & shame to the others. History repeats as do viruses. Look at when they killed the CATs instead of the rats in the black plague. Even killed cat owners saying they were connected to the devil. Stupid is as stupid does. I do enjoy the the thinking contributions and detest the nasty people on here. However all should have a voice and be heard such is how we decipher wisdom or something other.

      3. Frank

        spot on Micko.
        It’s akin to brainwashing in a cult.
        If you question or doubt what’s happening then you are the problem. You’re a conspiracy theorist, a loon etc. Only take your ‘news’ from ‘our’ official source, your source cannot be correct in-fact it’s ‘fake news’.
        Doubt cannot be allowed as it passes from one to the other and weakens the narrative.

        I would hope at this point a lot of nice and normal people are having serious doubts as to where we are headed, who’s the captain of the ship and what exactly are the objectives???

      4. eamonn

        trust your betters and don’t dare to question.
        do what you are told,when you are told, as often as you are told.
        In the face of being impotent when it comes to controlling a virus (not anybody’s fault), government won’t be found lacking when it comes to its efforts to control the people.
        bullying disguised as leadership.

        It is how we seem to be falling for it that is most disappointing.

        it is not a good way to run a society. in my opinion.

  1. E'Matty

    And she’s dead right. This a threat to democracy in this country handing excessive power to one Minster to impose his will on the citizens of this State.

  2. Kali

    Good to see more TDs questioning the governments actions. This dynamic of new variant, reimpose restrictions, mandate boosters can continue indefinitely. How it’s gotten this far in the first place is crazy

  3. Nigel

    ‘“The approach of the Government poses the most serious threat to our democratic system and to the sense of solidarity we all should have with one another in dealing with the public health crisis.“’

    Oh, I dunno, I reckon that Garda bill is orders of magnitude worse.

      1. Nigel

        In tandem with what? You think the Guards are interested in rounding up people trying to go into shops without masks and hold them without access to a lawyer for a while? They couldn’t give a toss. They’ve got far bigger fish to fry. They want drug busts, and they want them easy.

        I’d put money on this Bill being way more likely to be used against climate change protestors than anti pandemic response activists. They really like going after environmental campaigners that threaten any economic activity – as in Shell To Sea.

        1. Micko

          I don’t think they are mutually exclusive.

          Yes it could be used for all manner of oppression. Be it under health measures, climate change, banning of assembly – whatever.

          Covid has allowed world governments the biggest flex of their power in decades.

          People here have been screaming this for months and all you say to them is things like;

          “yes, pandemics are hard”

          “ it’s a health measure, there’s a pandemic on”

          “the Covid pass is to keep the unvax’d safe”

          Myopic indeed…

          1. Nigel

            There isn’t a government in thw world that doesn’t want the pandemic to go away. Hence the huge vaccines push and then keeping the stocks for the richer counreis – they want a vaxxed populatio to get back to work and get back to consuming and spending. Our own government literally pretended the spread in schools wasn’t happening or significant until it became untenable to uphold the pretence. They’re keeping half an eye on the anti-response activists because at some point they might provide handy cover for just suspending all responses to open up. You have way more in common with the government’s view of the pandemic than you’ll ever admit, it’s just that they have actual public responsibility and you don’t.

          2. Micko

            Yes of course they want us back spending.

            But they also want to have more control over the population.

            Again, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

          3. Nigel

            The only control they want is for ways to prevent people from objecting to motorways and wind farms on bogs and data centres and sitka plantations. Same with the UK and their anti-protest bill. People protesting against restrictions are pushing against an open door.

          4. Micko

            Again. The types of control they want aren’t mutually exclusive.

            Yes they want control over those things. And they want more control over us in general.

            The pandemic has given them that opportunity.

          5. Nigel

            Your focus on the controls they supposedly want are limited to pandemic-related measures. Imposing pandemic measures during a pandemic isn’t an ‘opportunity’ it’s just what you’re supposed to do to reduce the harm caused by the pandemic. Conflating them with actual threats to civil liberties provides them with more cover to introduce actual tjreats to civil liberties like the bill. You’re wailing about masks and vavcine-related restrictions that simly can’t survive outside the context of a pandemic, while the Guards sit back and dispense with our actual rights.

          6. Micko

            “ Imposing pandemic measures during a pandemic”

            It’s a stepping stone, to what you fear. Again, not mutually exclusive.

            “ outside the context of a pandemic”

            18 people died last week. Average age was over 70

            Where’s the emergency?


            But, I’m sure you’re right. As soon as the pandemic is over, all these restrictions will pass and all our freedoms will return.

            Only Covid isn’t going anywhere is it? We’re already at a tiny number of deaths and we’re still in it.

            So when…? What level of deaths is acceptable?

    1. Darrens

      We are then equal of ignorance Nigel.. That’s fair. The taking of non emergency liberties is as you say an ongoing issue.. there is also social governance in instinct and practice which have characterics that would ordinarily organise around the notion of being indispensable whatever the social situation. A health pandemic can’t be legislated out of existence but society’s will to be served by suitable figures is no less .. but even if that is just the presumed preference another is just as active and that’s all it is surely.. no one really knows

  4. bisted

    …Catherine Connolly is dead right, as usual…this government demonstrated at the outset that it would be a case of ‘do as I say. not as I do’…despite the obscenity of golfgate, plane loads fruit pickers and Italian Rugby Fans arriving unchecked and ignoring the advice of NPHET at every turn until it was too late…despite all of these messages from people who were elected to keep us safe, their shallow objectives have been exposed…the only thing that has shone through has been the amazing solidarity of people trying to do the right thing in the face of bungling incompetence and ruthless misinformation…

    1. Chris

      NPHET are the misinformation. Their only purpose is to distribute diktats that channel jabs into peoples arms. They are following orders from NGOs. As is every other unelected ‘council’ coming down the line.

    2. John Smith

      ‘the amazing solidarity of people trying to do the right thing’

      This is the ‘we’re all in it together’ idea that is peddled as part of the official narrative. The reality is that we have every shade of opinion from frightened stiff, swallowing everything that is on RTE, etc, and begging for more restrictions through to ignoring everything and saying it is all a hoax. In between, there’s a lot of people trying to following whatever they think the rules are at any particular time, a lot more minimally toeing the line outwardly (including having the jabs so they can go to pubs, etc) but doing what they want whenever possible and another lot questioning and protesting and trying to get people to understand what is really happening. Solidarity? You have to be joking!

      1. bisted

        …I have to agree that there were a few people who make up the 93% where solidarity was the last thing on their mind…most despicable to me were the queue jumpers but like the ratlickers, they represented only a tiny minority…

        1. John Smith

          ‘I have to agree that there were a few people who make up the 93% where solidarity was the last thing on their mind’

          I do have to wonder where you live and who you know or whether you just have your eyes and ears closed. Solidarity we do not have, except in the minds of those pushing the official narrative. Things like the wearing of a face-covering (in shops, for example) and gettting jabbed give an outward appearance of solidarity. Beneath that outward appearance, we have the situation I described above. No two people that I know have views that agree – and these widely-varied views and the resultant behaviour patterns go across the range I described.

  5. Dr.Fart

    to be fair to our utterly useless government, they’ve never had an original thought in their heads. and this is no different. they didn’t make up these rules, they’re just copying every other government.

  6. Fergalito

    In truth parliamentary democracy in Ireland has been shabbily treated by those supposed to uphold it for decades. Guillotined bills, dubious, secret side-deals, disengagement with the minority voices of those elected (unless you’re a valuable regional asset with whom the ruling majority can horse-trade for power). It’s a system that puffs the chests of the peripheral pot-hole fillers, the proxy medical card applicant T.D.s.

    I guess they’re just playing the game …(shurgs shoulders).

    We’ve been a path to mediocrity for decades …. hurtling towards the lid being kept on, or slightly ajar if you want to dip your fingers in for a lick. Schlurp!

    Reform is needed – that said, maybe it’s how it should be seeing as we voted to keep the Seanad on life-support. Hope lies in the Seanad they said. we need checks and balances. We need a second house for the vibrant political insights they can provide and to keep the lads and lassies in the Dáil honest.

    “How can we tell the chancer from the chance” to plunder Yeats … !

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