Fintan O’Toole: We had zero Covid and we blew it

Government’s dogged denial of danger posed by international travel remains bewildering

If the virus was crushed in Ireland, it could return only if it was brought back in from somewhere else. This isn’t xenophobia or paranoia. It’s just logic. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

If the virus was crushed in Ireland, it could return only if it was brought back in from somewhere else. This isn’t xenophobia or paranoia. It’s just logic. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Last week, we got definitive proof of what common sense had long suggested but official policy tried to deny. Ireland managed almost to eliminate the coronavirus in the first lockdown. But it lost the benefits of that triumph because it allowed new variants to come in from abroad.

Also last week, we got the news that 2,000 people arrived in Ireland from Brazil, where a dangerous new variant is raging, over a 28-day period in January and February. 

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.