Tag Archives: Michael McNamara


Dáil Éireann.

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara challenged the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee on the scientific basis for expanding vaccine passports.

Mr McNamara said:

“We know the vaccinated can efficiently transmit Covid-19, including to vaccinated people. That is the science and is generally accepted. What is the scientific rationale for continuing and expanding vaccination certificates? Is there a shred of evidence for this?

“It appears that there was no evidence in Wales. The matter was discussed in the Welsh Assembly. What evidence does the Government have to do that?

If there is no evidence, why are we doing it other than to deflect blame from a Government that has done nothing to address the capacity issues in our healthcare system?

“There are 95 people on trolleys in Limerick today. Over the past eight weeks, there were 27 outbreaks linked to hospitality, eight in gyms, six in hairdressers and 283 in healthcare settings. One might say the 95 people on trolleys are a result of the upturn in Covid, but that is not the case.

“On the hottest day this year, when there were only 95 people in the entire country in hospital with Covid-19, there were 49 people on trolleys in Limerick. The issue of overcrowding in Limerick is clearly exacerbated by, but not limited to, Covid. I discussed this issue with the Minister, Deputy Simon Harris, when he was Minister for Health. He promised the sun, moon and stars with regard to the elimination of overcrowding. Nothing has been done.

“Instead of dealing with the problems and lack of capacity in our healthcare system, the Government is focusing on increasing outdoor dining in the middle of winter and expanding a vaccine pass for which I have seen no evidence. If I am shown evidence for it I am willing to consider it, but I see none for it. That exemplifies what is wrong with our Covid response in this State and why we are failing.”

Yesterday: At The Stroke Of Midnight, The Spell Is Broken



Yesterday evening.

Dail Eireann.

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara challenged Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on his plan to extend covid emergency legislation for a further three months.

He also took issue with a tweet from the Minister:

Mr McNamara said:

“While looking at this debate in my office I noticed that there was a tweet a couple of minutes ago and indeed it was from your good self, the Minister for Health, saying that everybody who opposed this was reckless. With regard to being reckless, it was reckless to have such a disregard for Parliament and for the Dáil, not for me or Deputy Connolly, or any of the Deputies here, but for the people that we represent because it is the essence of democracy. One thing that Fianna Fáil always had, that party the Minister joined so late in the day, was a fairly healthy respect for parliamentary democracy.

“If the Minister wants to talk about recklessness, it is reckless to run down a health service the way our health service has been run down. The Minister did not run it down, but there are three members of the Cabinet in which he sits who had collective responsibility for running it down.

“The Taoiseach, Deputy Micheál Martin, when he was the Minister for Health, came up with the HSE as a way to spend money on reports. The Tánaiste, Deputy Leo Varadkar, when he was the Minister could not get out of there fast enough. The Minister, Deputy Simon Harris, caused a general election when he was the Minister for Health. We thought he was the most inept Minister for Health ever, or at least we were told that by some Fianna Fáil canvassers before the last election.

“That was reckless to run down a health service the way they did. It was reckless to fail to do anything about it when getting into office, which is what the Minister, Deputy Stephen Donnelly, has done. Where is the additional capacity that he spoke about and that he asked about when he was on the Covid committee? It is simply not there. Cholera hospitals were built in this city in response to a cholera outbreak. TB sanatoria were built all over the State in response to that. We had €23 billion. What was the €23 billion spent on apart from masks that are now clogging up our sewerage systems, which was junk that was brought in from China? What was the €23 billion spent on? We have nothing to show for it. Such a wanton waste of Exchequer funding is simply reckless.

“If the Minister wants to talk about recklessness, it is reckless to deny children the ability to play sports during a pandemic when they are locked up in their homes. It is reckless to tell them it is safe to sit in a classroom for six hours a day but not safe to play sports. It is reckless because of the effect it has on their formation and particularly on their mental health.

“This is the case with some children whose parents have come to me to complain about what is going on. It is reckless to fail to look at schools and their ventilation, and to spend €23 billion without remedying this. Last winter it was understandable because it was all new but we are heading into our second winter with nothing done. I put it to the Minister that this is reckless.

“Above all, it is reckless to fail to look at the science and to pretend that we are following the science but instead lurch from hysterical reaction to hysterical reaction. Let us look at the vaccines and let us look at their efficiency and efficacy. There are studies about this. Vaccines of course have stopped people from getting seriously ill, but now we know of waning immunity.

“We now know that how infectious somebody is, whether they are vaccinated or not, varies relatively little. We know that there is an enduring immunity from recovery. There are also question marks still about masks and about how small are the particles by which the virus is spread. Are they so small that masks do not capture them? If the Minister wants to talk about recklessness let us talk about it, but also have an honest reflection upon his role and how reckless he has been.”


Yesterday evening.

Dail Eireann.

Independent Wexford TD Verona Murphy also opposed the extension of emergency powers…

“I have had contact with many disgruntled constituents who are wondering why we did not open on 22 October as was planned. I share many of their concerns. There seems to be an attitude from the Government to try to extend its power with these restrictions under the guise of being precautionary, yet as soon as they are passed they are being used as a matter of course rather than as an emergency power.

“I also have another major concern which needs to be met head-on. Why are Government Members and policies being designed to scapegoat those who decided, for whatever reason, that they did not want, or could not take, the vaccine? We have the highest vaccination rates in Europe. I would like to commend all of the hard-working staff in all of the vaccination centres who have been very confident in their roll out of the vaccine programme. The constant scapegoating of the unvaccinated does not stand up to scrutiny or evidence and is completely unwarranted.

“Every time we see evidence of a failure in Government policy, the narrative shifts to find the latest random thing to blame it on. There has yet to be any evidence presented which shows that vaccine passports actually serve any purpose in preventing transmission. In fact, recent studies have shown that a vaccinated person is every bit as likely to transmit this virus as a non-vaccinated person. Therefore, why is the Government continuing to divide society on this basis? Some of the language used by Ministers…”

Mr Donnelly interjected:

“Deputies, that information is false and it is really important that Members of Parliament do not spread anti-vaccine information like this in the Chamber.”


“It is so damaging in terms of the anti-vaccine campaign.”

Ms Murphy continued:

There is nothing anti-vax about some of the constituents contacting me. They are contacting me and telling me they are unable to take a vaccine. It is stupid to tell people they can attend weddings without certificates…if the same people cannot then go out to a restaurant the next day because they are being labelled as unvaccinated.”

Transcripts via Oireachtas.ie

Last night: Three More Months


Michael McNamara and Aine Lawlor

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara spoke on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland about prejudice against the unvaxxed telling the host Aine Lawlor:

“…now we’re vilifying the unvaccinated. Before it was students and, before that, it was people who travelled…”


Aine Lawlor: “You spoke about the unvaccinated being vilified. I don’t know whether you heard Professor O’Reilly or Dr Gary Stack [on the show] talking to us earlier about what they’re facing on the medical line, frontline and, you know, the impact Prof O’Reilly was talking about, for instance, if somebody and the people in ICU that’s being driven by the unvaccinated at the moment. If they’re taking up a bed that maybe somebody needs a lung cancer operation can’t get into ICU, how fair are they being on the rest of the community?”

Michael McNamara: “Yeah, but you know, people who smoke take up beds, people who drink take up beds, people who in all sorts of behaviour that might not seem very sensible take up beds. If you go to the A&E unit in Limerick on your average Friday night and you’ll see a fair share of people who’ve drunk too much there. I mean they’re taking up spaces too.

“I mean throughout history, we’ve seen groups of people being blamed unreasonably, in hindsight, for various pandemics and various endemics and sometimes, with the benefit of hindsight, that looks ridiculous. We started off, there was a big campaign…”

Lawlor: “Well I don’t know who’s blaming? I mean I most certainly heard no vilification or blaming at the NPHET briefing yesterday.”

McNamara: “No, but there’s been a fair share of, there’s been an outrageous amount of it on social media, and there’s been a fair share of it on broadcast media, including RTÉ television, it has to be said.”

Lawlor: “Well I haven’t heard or seen any vilification.”

McNamara: “[inaudible] to be honest and I don’t think it’s healthy to divide society along that basis. You know…”

Lawlor: “No, and indeed we heard Prof O’Reilly…”

McNamara: “Can we continue…”

Lawlor: “No, just to make the point. Prof O’Reilly in fact spoke about the way that he engages with those who aren’t vaccinated. All the doctors that we’ve been talking to have been talking about engagement. They have also been saying, and this is the message, that for the sake of protecting the community, they are particularly appealing to the 1 in 5 18-30-year-olds who aren’t vaccinated at the moment, to go and get the vaccination for the sake of community, for the sake of the people who won’t be able to get that bed in ICU at the end of November.”

McNamara: “I don’t, I mean, I’m not going to, I’ve never countered medical advice, I’m not going to go against that but what I’m talking about is not doctors, but are commentators who feel they’ve suddenly found a group that they can, you know… We have increasing political correctness in our discourse in our media, it’s perhaps a good thing…”

Lawlor: “What do you say to the unvaccinated?”

McNamara: “I say to the vaccinated, do your research, talk to your doctors.”

Lawlor: “And get the vaccine?”

McNamara: “Talk to your doctors. I mean I’m not in a position to intervene in people’s lives. I don’t know the reasons they’re not taking the vaccine, there are people who can’t take the vaccine. I say talk to your doctor. Everybody, almost everybody, in Ireland has a GP, talk to your GP, listen to what they have to say. I’m not a GP, I’m not a doctor, I’m not an immunologist.”

: “OK, well thank you for coming in to talk to us on Morning Ireland.”

Earlier: Blame From Spain Falls Mainly On The Plain

Yesterday: Insight To Hatred

This afternoon.

The Dáil at the Convention Centre, Dublin.

And he would have got away with until the oppositon parties one independent TD stopped him.

Previously: EU Citizens Can Start Travelling With COVID-19 Certificates From July 1, the Council Says (SchengenVisaInfo)

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen with Minister for Finance and Eurogroup president Paschal Donohoe at the G7 finance ministers meeting in London last week; Michael McNamara TD

Having returned from having smiling photos taken with the world’s economic leaders, Paschal Donohoe announced he was going to fight them on the beaches, on the landing grounds, etc.

Boris couldn’t do it better.

There was much talk in the media this weekend about a €2bn reduction in our tax take and that this has been foreseen for some time. All of this is true. The bigger problem, however, will be the impact on our GDP figure which, for several years has been inflated by profits channeled through Ireland for corporation tax reasons. Our borrowing (especially over the past 12 months) only look sustainable relative to that inflated GDP.

Once that deflates, the situation looks a lot less sustainable than Paschal merrily portrays. The reality is that we have the highest borrowings per capita in the EU and the highest rise in borrowing per capita over the past 12 months.

As all of this was happening, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist, was accusing the government of “stealing tax revenue from its neighbours – from other members of the EU,” at an event organised by the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung think tank to look at the transformations required to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coming just three weeks after Paul Krugman, also a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, wrote “Biden, Yellen and the War on Leprechauns” in the New York Times, it was clear that there was a concerted push against Ireland’s corporate tax regime from in high in the USA. Stieglitz, Krugman and the New York Times would all be considered to be broadly sympathetic to the Democratic Party that currently controls the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the European Commission was calling for tax reforms as part of Ireland’s national recovery plan and Ireland was embarrassingly reduced to opposing basic tax transparency measures in the EU earlier this year, proposals designed to make sure that multinational corporations pay their fair share of taxes in all States, in developing as well as developed ones.

Ireland opposes them on the rather narrow legalistic grounds that the rules are being adopted on the wrong legal basis, the morality of the proposals being very hard to argue against – never a great indicator of the longer term viability of a state’s position.

All of this leaves the central strategy for the economic development of this State since the dark mid-80s – one that has served us well over many years but has become unsustainable during Paschal’s tenure as Finance Minister – in ruins.

Instead of developing an alternative in response, he merrily continued to assure us it was all OK. Just like Comical Ali as the detonations were getting closer, the blithe assurances remain the same.

When we first started to attract Foreign Direct Investment on a large scale in the 80s, our Government also used to speak of the attractiveness of our well-educated, young, English-speaking population.

Now, most multinationals, particularly in the tech sector, hire in from abroad. In the past year, many of those workers have been working from their homes all over the world but for tax reasons they, the tech corporations and Irish Revenue Commissioners all pretend they’re still in the empty office and apartment blocks in the Docklands.

Ireland Inc has effectively given up on presenting any basis for our economic development other than our tax code and its selective implementation.

Perhaps there was truth in Paul Krugman’s article: that “the way to create jobs is to create jobs, mainly through public investment, rather than by chasing unicorns and leprechauns”?

For our part, the biggest investment in the infrastructure that is a prerequisite for job creation is the National Broadband Plan. During the last general election, it was routinely compared to the post-War rural electrification scheme such was the scope of its ambition and the impact it would have on rural communities and the ability to build an economic future to sustain them.

Water supply limitations is the big obstacle to further economic expansion in our Capital, we’re told, with Victorian pipes leaking half of their precious potable water into the ground. Yet, the opportunity to replace those pipes posed by the hiatus of activity on the streets under which those pipes flow was spurned.

Just 4,000 homes were reached by the “national” broadband plan in the first half of this year, out of target of 115,000 for 2021.

But we’re still getting the Comical Ali assurances.

Michael McNamara is an independent TD for Clare.



Dáil at the Convention Centre.

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara forcefully argues against an extension of covid emergency laws.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly had earlier told the Dáil that the pandemic measures will only need to be extended “for a very short time” – from June 9 until November 10 or sometime in February 2022 ‘at the latest’.


G’wan the Mattie!


G’wan the Verona!


This afternoon.

Dáil Eireann at the Convention Centre.

“We have an arm of the government practically going out to Dublin Airport to burn witches live on air. I’m talking about RTÉ. It’s an absolute disgrace. It is oppressive and it is driving anxiety in this state what RTÉ is doing.

“There are massive problems with free media in Ireland.The Irish Times have their hand out looking for money from the government. God Knows they’re entitled to it, they’ve been doing your bidding for a year.

“But where is the free media to come from if the only source – I’m not talking about all media –  but the primary source of income is the Department of Health, is the government?

“Of course they [RTE, Irish Times] are doing the government’s bidding, of course they’re driving the narrative, of course they are attacking people who question what is going on.

“It is oppressive and it is damaging the fabric of our society.”

Independent TD for Clare Michael McNamara


Earlier: Wish You Were Here

Too Big To Fold

Doing the rounds in Italy.

A video of Covid response committee chairman, Michael McNamara (top) last September  questioning Dr John Cuddihy, Director, Health Protection Surveillance Centre, HSE, on how rona deaths are counted.


Michael McNamara: “Dr Cuddihy, if someone shows no symptoms of Covid and they have a heart attack and are brought to hospital and they are tested and it is found they have Covid and they die soon thereafter – but this is someone who has demonstrated no symptoms whatsoever – are they recorded as a Covid death or not? If they have tested positive for Covid but ultimately came to hospital because they had a heart attack or a stroke or fallen off the roof of a building or something like that?”

Dr John Cuddihy: “We adhere to the World Health Organisation case definition in terms of recording and reporting deaths so in the situation you describe, where someone has a positive Covid test and it is a death in a confirmed Covid case but such a case would be subject to a coroner’s report aswell, and as part of the ongoing validation of data in our surveillance system, we wouldn’t…”

McNamara: “Obviously a coroner’s report takes a very long time to work its way through the system. So, for now, they are recorded as a Covid death? And maybe they are taken off that list at a later date. is that what you are saying?

Dr Cuddihy: “That’s it exactly.”

Previously: Just To Clarify

This afternoon (3.30pm).

Live from the Convention Centre, Dublin

Fresh from a blistering Dáil speech against the latest restrictions, Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara (top), who recently chaired the joint Oireachtas Covid-19 response committee, takes to the stool of doom to answer YOUR questions about the rona, Level 5 and his much-envied barnet.

Previously: Answer A Broadsheet Reader