Tag Archives: coronavirus

St Peter’s, Phibsborough, Dublin on Good Friday

This morning.

Via Irish Times Letters:

At long last the Roman Catholic Church has expressed concern about the criminalising of public worship in the Republic (“Catholic archbishop criticises ‘provocative’ law on services”)

The Government does not seem to care that in this respect the country is out of step with most other countries in Europe. At Easter, we had a ludicrous situation that churches in the North were able to celebrate Easter while in the South they were bolted and barred.

Irish Times Letters


This morning.

Faith! Fight!

HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said there is ‘much more to fear’ from the virus than from the AstraZeneca vaccine

This morning.

On Newstalk Breakfast.

HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said:

AstraZeneca vaccine is a really good vaccine. I know there was bad publicity, and talk and concern over what have been a very small number of cases.

I’d say to anybody aged 60-69 who has been offered the AstraZeneca vaccine: take it. You have much more to fear from the virus than you do from the vaccine.”

He said the blood clotting cases are ‘extraordinarily rare’, and has ‘rarely ever’ been reported in older people – hence why its use has been restricted in younger cohorts.



This morning


Dr Henry said officials are also looking at whether the gap between Pfizer vaccine doses can be spread out so more adults can get their first dose quicker.

He explained: “For the Pfizer vaccine, if you look at the strict licensing of the drug, you’re allowed to give the second dose up to 42 days… but the current advice we have is up to 28 days.

“The real-world evidence… is [there’s] substantial protection after the first dose. That is not an excuse not to give the second dose, but it may well give some leeway.”

Over 60s ‘have much more to fear’ from virus than from AstraZeneca vaccine – Henry (Newstalk)


It is unclear why passport applications must be halted on the basis that staff need to attend the passport office to process the applications, say the Covid-19 Law and Human Rights Observatory

Trying to get a passport?

Losing your mind?

Dr Donna Lyons, a member of the Covid-19 Law and Human Rights Observatory and Trinity College Dublin representative to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Committee on Human Rights, writes [full article at link below]:

The Irish Times, on February 20, quoted the passport service to the effect that the following services were available: a same-day service for emergencies, a weekly urgent service for Irish citizens resident overseas requiring a passport for local immigration purposes, and in general, adult renewals for work purposes on a weekly basis where a letter from the employer was provided. Expediting passport issuance for immigration or work is nowhere mentioned on the passport service’s website.

The same article quoted the passport office as stating that while routine online passport applications did not involve face-to-face interaction with applicants, staff did need to attend the passport office to process the applications as staff do not have access to the private, personal data of applicants when working remotely.

…It is unclear why passport applications as a general rule must be halted on the basis that staff need to attend the passport office to process the applications. If it is the case that staff in the passport office do not have access to the private, personal data of applicants when working remotely, it would be useful to have an explanation by government officials as to (a) what the specific problem is with staff attending offices in-person to perform this essential service when other essential service-providers have been encouraged to return to the workplace, and (b) how the passport service differs from the likes of the NDLS, RSA, and Revenue in the context of access to personal data on a remote basis.

…In another article on 20 February 2021, an Irish Times journalist commented on the ‘data protection’ justification offered by the passport office as follows:

‘[T]his seems more than a bit disingenuous, when Revenue staff are working away remotely with equally private and personal data, and driver’s licences are still being issued. Britain may have introduced mandatory hotel quarantine to discourage travel, but it hasn’t stopped issuing passports.’

…Even if the ‘data protection’ ground were defensible, it is indefensible that the general phone lines and e-mail contact services have been closed down. Moreover, even in a genuine emergency, applicants are restricted to contacting the passport office during 9:30am and 4pm, Mondays through Fridays, since the actual emergency contact information (e-mail address and phone number) are only accessible via the Webchat service and emergency e-mail account respectively.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that a deliberate strategy has been put into place to make it difficult to communicate with the office, even in the case of a genuine emergency, and ‘data protection’ simply cannot be a defence to this in its entirety….

…The question of cessation of passport services in this way raises serious rule of law concerns. Rule of law is a principle which is emphasised as paramount in both domestic law and international human rights law [More at link below]…

Cessation of Passport Services Raises Fundamental Rule of Law Concerns (TCD Law)

Pic: DFA



Ah here.


Via Irish Times Letters:

The news that just 0.1 per cent of cases of Covid are traceable to outdoor activity is shocking The Government has closed parks, bathing spots, children’s sports training, golf, tennis, rowing, and even fishing which, by its very nature of casting a line with a hook on the end, tends to dictate social distancing.

This information has had to be available to those who make these decisions. It is truly shocking that people have been denied access to sports, social meetings and some forms of exercise. A reversal is not only important, it’s vital.

Irish Times Letters


This morning/afternoon.

Covid-19 Testing Centre, Finglas, Dublin.

One of three new walk-in Covid-19 testing centres for asymptomatic people (exhibiting no symptoms) that have opened today in various locations around Ireland where there is a ‘high rate of coronavirus infections’.



This morning’s Irish Independent

This afternoon.

Further to the Dubs dawn ‘workout of hate’ shenanigans

former GAA president, Ireland South MEP Séan Kelly, has said that some form of sanction will have to be imposed on the Dublin players involved in the training session on Wednesday which broke Covid restrictions.

“If it is true it is surprising and very disappointing – especially coming from the six in a row Dubs,” he told Newstalk Breakfast. Such a successful team had a responsibility to lead by example, he added.

“Every club and every county in the country are probably frustrated they can’t get back out on the field but there is a road map there. The GAA have outlined the guidelines and everyone will have to stick by them.” Mr Kelly said that the GAA would have to react “strongly” to this breaking of restrictions as there was a need to be consistent in the way rules were applied.

Croke Park express ‘frustration and extreme disappointment’ over Dublin training (Irish Examiner)

Dublin GAA stars broke rules on Covid gatherings with early morning training (Independent.ie)

A judge has given the Belgian State 30 days to provide a sound legal basis for covid restrictions

This afternoon.

The Belgian State has been ordered to lift “all coronavirus measures” within 30 days, as the legal basis for them is insufficient, a Brussels court ruled.

Via The Brussels Times:

The League for Human Rights had filed the lawsuit several weeks ago and challenged Belgium’s system of implementing the measures using Ministerial Decrees, which means it is done without any input from parliament.

The judge gave the Belgian State 30 days to provide a sound legal basis, or face a penalty of €5,000 per day that this period is exceeded, with a maximum limit of €200,000, reports Le Soir.

The current coronavirus measures are based on the Civil Safety Act of 2007, which enable the State to react quickly in “exceptional circumstances,” but the judge has now ruled that these laws cannot serve as a basis for the Ministerial Decrees.

Belgium must lift ‘all Covid-19 measures’ within 30 days, Brussels court rules (The Brussels Times)