Disciplinary hearing of GP who refused to administer Covid-19 vaccine proceeds in private

Dr Gerard Waters said a public Medical Council inquiry could lead to ‘unwarranted’ damage to his reputation

A disciplinary hearing into a Co Kildare GP who refused to administer Covid-19 vaccines to his patients is proceeding in private at the Medical Council.

The council says that because the fitness to practise hearing into Dr Gerard Waters is in private, it cannot say what it is about.

In 2021, the High Court suspended Dr Waters from practice pending the outcome of full disciplinary proceedings into allegations against him.

On Tuesday, a scheduled two-day hearing involving him got underway online.


At the start, Dr Waters, who had practised at the Whitethorn Clinic in Celbridge, applied for the hearing to be heard in camera “because of the very nature of the accusations and the fact the vast majority of them are lies about me”.

The very fact the Medical Council planned to hold the hearing in public would, he said, “give rise to massive damage to my reputation, which is totally unwarranted”.

On the advice of the council’s legal expert, Patricia Dillon SC, the fitness to practise committee adjudicating on the allegations against Dr Waters moved into private session to consider his application. It later decided to hold the hearing in private.

Dr Waters told RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline programme in 2021 that he was a “conscientious objector” to the Covid-19 vaccine and would not be recommending it to his patients.

Dr Waters, who is in his 70s, later told The Irish Times he would not administer the vaccine on the basis that he believed it was untrustworthy and unnecessary.

Following his comments, and a complaint made by a patient, the Medical Council used its powers under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 to make a successful ex parte application to the High Court for his suspension.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is Health Editor of The Irish Times