Kildare GP linked illness to wearing facemask, patient claimed

High Court judgment to suspend Dr Gerard Waters is published

A Co Kildare GP who was suspended by the Medical Council after he failed to refer patients for Covid-19 tests is alleged to have told a patient with chest complaints that his symptoms were caused by his facemask, a High Court judgment shows.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine of the High Court last month granted an application by the Medical Council to suspend Dr Gerard Waters, a GP at the Whitethorn Clinic in Celbridge, following allegations surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine and adherence to public health measures.

The High Court published its judgment in full on Thursday following a further application by the Medical Council.

The judgment shows Dr Waters refused to administer Covid-19 vaccines on the basis he was a “conscientious objector”, but that he did not take steps to refer patients to other doctors.


The matter was brought to the attention of the Medical Council by a patient of Dr Waters who said he attended his clinic when he suspected he may be suffering from a chest infection.

While waiting in the waiting area, the complainant noticed a photocopied pamphlet with the title “No pandemic killing us”.

Having begun his consultation with Dr Waters, the complainant said he “was treated to a barrage of nonsense about the ‘hoax that is Covid-19’” and that “the State and the Government are scamming the people”.

Furthermore, Dr Waters was said to have advised the complainant that the wearing of masks was causing illness.

Additionally, Dr Waters handed him photocopied pages with fatality numbers, from Ireland and Italy, bar charts showing the ages of victims and all in an effort to convince him that Covid-19 is a hoax, the judgment says.

“[Dr Waters] even suggested my illness was as a result of ‘that silly f**ing thing’ I was wearing (as he pointed to my mask),” the complainant said. “His behaviour was beyond inappropriate.

“The check-up consisted of a brief check of my chest. [Dr Waters]concluded that I had tracheitis and told it probably wasn’t Covid [sic] and even if it was, it’s ‘inconsequential anyway’.”

‘Media onslaught’

In his response, Dr Waters admitted having set out his point of view on Covid-19 to the complainant but maintained that he did so in a reasoned manner.

Primarily however, his response dealt with his views regarding Covid-19, the Government’s handling of the pandemic, the information disseminated by public health officials and the research he carried out into Covid-19.

“I was departing from popular understanding, media onslaught. Government, Department of Health, and ICGP,” he said. “I have more to lose than gain, I as a doctor consider myself a professional persuader and information purveyor.

“I have conducted an excess of a quarter of a million consultation over forty three years, it seems unreasonable that I would launch into a barrage of information as suggested by [the complainant].

“I acknowledge that I did present the information that I believe to be true on the Covid-19 pandemic in the concise and reasoned manner, not as aggressive fashion stated by [the complainant].

“It is unfortunate that this thirty six year old man who claims to have jokingly, in course of the conversation, introduces the topic of masks, and yet wishes to take on the mantel of victim.

“He claims to be traumatised and psychologically upset at a person having a difference of opinion and he clearly wishes to demonise me because of my use of a naughty word in my presentation as overly aggressive.”

Dr Waters added: “Even if I am in error, I must do what I believe to be right, as must every individual working in the medical profession. History will judge our actions at this pivotal and vital part in the history of the western world.”

The judgment also noted that Dr Waters indicated that neither he nor his staff wore masks and that his practice did not comply with other public health measures including the use of PPE and social distancing.

In the judgment, Ms Justice Irvine said these matters as well as the doctor’s failure to refer patients for testing could have serious consequences not just for his patients but for the wider community.

Dr Waters had now made an undertaking to provide the HSE with information about his patients who were eligible for vaccines.

Ms Justice Irvine concluded: “I am satisfied that the allegations made against the respondent may well be considered to amount to a serious breach of professional conduct and that the evidence against the respondent should indeed be categorised as strong.”

Dr Waters is appealing the High Court order and the matter is still under consideration by the Medical Council.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter