Tag Archives: coronavirus

Last night.

On RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live.

Ms Byrne put it to Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer at the HSE, that the official figures may not reveal the “whole story” about the prevalence of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Ms  Byrne suggested that because of the delays and changes in testing criteria, and because Ireland isn’t testing people who are asymptomatic, there must be a lot of unknown cases in Ireland.

Dr Henry admitted that Ireland could “never, ever” pick up every single case of Covid-19. He said the purpose of testing is to trigger public health actions which are designed to stem or halt the transmission of the virus.

During their discussion, they had this exchange.

Claire Byrne: “I suppose my question is how do we know we’re bending the curve, when we don’t know how much of this virus there is out there?”

Dr Colm Henry: “Because our modelling takes so much more into account. It takes in, as I said, data coming into acute hospitals. I takes into account trends in intensive care units, we know, looking at the trends in admission to intensive care, it is not as steep as we feared a week or two ago. It is too early to say it Claire, how sustained that will be.

“And again that message is there, that each and every one of us have the power to save lives, to prevent people getting critically ill and to avoid healthcare workers getting sick when we need them.”

Watch back in full here



Herbert Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 this morning

This morning.



Restrictions are being slowly lifted across Europe

This morning.

Tis lifting.

Austria’s chancellor Sebastian Kurz has become the first European leader to provide specific dates for the end of lockdown measures.

He said the aim was to let smaller shops re-open as soon as April 14, with larger ones and shopping malls opening on May 1 if all goes well.

In Spain, which after Italy has seen the highest number of deaths in Europe, Prime minister Pedro Sanchez has said that some economic restrictions could be lifted after Easter.

European countries to follow Italy with plans to lift coronavirus lockdown in days with schools and shops reopening (The Sun)

Graph via The Sun



The government’s COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme payment is taxable, warns financial planner Eoin McGee

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.

Financial planner and author of How To Be Good With Money Eoin McGee warned listeners who are signed up to the COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme that the payment is taxable and that they may face a tax bill at the end of the year.

Mr McGee’s contribution to the radio show followed Mr McGee posting a video about the same on social media.

This morning, he told Mr O’Rourke:

“People do need to be aware that there is tax due on this. This is not a tax-free payment. There is tax due on it. Nobody is collecting on your behalf right now and what I would say to people now is that the right thing to do here is to take, about 30 per cent of it is a reasonable number.

“So for every €100 you’re getting, put €30 of it aside, put it in a little war chest if you want to call it, so that if the taxman comes looking for it you can give it back in one go. That’s the ideal thing to do here.”

“…I think, you know the problem is Seán, I think that the reality here is that if you’re employer is signed up to this, they’re trying to protect your long-term future in that business and they have concerns and they are being diligent about making sure that they can keep the show on the road.

“The reality is that the alternative for your employer could have been that you didn’t have a job at all and, I just, there are people in that position as well, and they will probably sign up to holding back 30 per cent.

“I know this is hard, I know people are getting a real cut in their wages but what you don’t want to do is rob from the future to look after today. You don’t want a problem. You don’t want to get out of this and then have another problem faced with to try and pay the money back.”

During his discussion with host Seán O’Rourke, Mr O’Rourke read out a statement from Revenue which stated:

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme payments are liable to income tax, USC and PRSI. However, the subsidy is not taxable in real time through the PAYE system during the period of the subsidy scheme. Instead, the employee will be liable for tax on the subsidy amount paid to them by their employer by way of a review at the end of the year.

“Where a PAYE worker owes tax, it’s normal Revenue practice to collect any tax owing in manageable amounts by reducing tax credits for a future year or years in order to minimise any hardship.”

Mr McGee added:

“People don’t realise if your tax credits get adjusted next year, you are going to pay more tax next year because of the tax you didn’t pay this year. Take a proactive approach and put the money to one side if you can at all possibly do that.”


Listen back in full here

Wage Subsidy Scheme (Gov.ie)

CEO of the HSE Paul Reid, letter from Digital Rights Ireland to the HSE


Further to a report in the Business Post by Susan Mitchell and Aaron Rogan on March 29 last that the HSE will be rolling out an opt-in “mobile phone tracking and tracing app” that will allow people to be notified if they were in close proximity to people who tested positive for Covid-19…

Digital Rights Ireland has written to the head of the HSE Paul Reid (above) asking to discuss the HSE’s plans for this app “and other digital initiatives” over a videoconference call.

It’s been previously reported that the HSE has been in contact with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner about the track and trace app.

However, details of the app are not clear in terms of what information will be used, how and where this information will be stored and with whom it will be shared. It’s also not clear if the roll-out of the app will be subject to a time limit.

In its letter, Digital Rights Ireland, who successfully argued in the European Court of Justice in 2014 that laws requiring ISPs and mobile phone companies to log details of a phone user’s location, their texts, emails, internet use, and to store that information for up to two years, was a breach of privacy,  also asked for Mr Reid to provide it with the app’s Data Protection Impact Assessment.

It’s also not clear if such an assessment has been carried out.

Meanwhile, last night…

Phone tracking app set to be used as next step to fight Covid-19 (Susan Mitchell, Aaron Rogan, Business Post)

Previously: Track And Trace

G’Wan De Digital Rights

This afternoon.

Fingal County Council tweetz:

Please be advised that surgical gloves are not recyclable. When visiting our recycling centres please take them home and dispose of them with your normal refuse.

Please do not put them in the recycling containers there or leave them on the ground for our staff to clear up.


In fairness.