Anti-vaccination campaigner Dolores Cahill no longer employed by UCD

Controversial academic said children who wore face masks would have a lower IQ

Anti-vaccination campaigner Dolores Cahill has been removed from UCD’s online staff directory. Photograph: The Irish Times

Anti-vaccination campaigner Dolores Cahill has been removed from UCD’s online staff directory. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Anti-vaccination campaigner Dolores Cahill is no longer employed by University College Dublin (UCD), according to college sources, and her details have been removed from the university’s online staff directory.

The university declined to comment on her status over the weekend, but college sources said they had been informed that she was no longer employed as a staff member or lecturer.

Ms Cahill, who has previously said she was seeking to retire from the college, did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

UCD has faced criticism in the past for not taking action against Ms Cahill over false and misleading claims she made about Covid-19 over the course of the pandemic. There were also calls from some members of the university’s 40-member governing body for an investigation into her conduct.

However, UCD president Prof Andrew Deeks has previously defended the university’s actions in not censoring Ms Cahill. He said the principle of academic freedom prevented the university from “treating academics less favourably because of their opinions”.

‘Undermined’

Ruairí Power, president of UCD Students’ Union, said Prof Cahill’s controversial comments had “significantly undermined her UCD colleagues’ efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland” and were an “affront to the efforts of frontline hospital and contact tracing staff, including the students we represent”.

Speaking at an anti-lockdown rally in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day, Ms Cahill claimed that children who wore face masks would have a lower IQ as their brains were being “starved” of oxygen.

She told the Herbert Park rally that “globalists” had pushed for mandatory mask wearing because “oxygen-deprived people are easy to manipulate”.

She had previously claimed politicians and the media were using the pandemic “as a fear-mongering propaganda tool to try and take away rights from people and to make them more sick and to force vaccinations on us”.

Respected academic

Ms Cahill has been a respected academic in the field of proteomics, which is the large-scale study of proteins. She returned to work in Ireland in 2003 after a period in the prestigious Max Planck Institute in Germany.

In recent years she had taught a UCD first-year medicine class, called Science, Medicine and Society. However, she was moved from her role as a lecturer in the last year.

In response to her commentary on Covid-19, more than 130 students, mostly from the UCD school of medicine, signed a letter saying the failure of the university to disavow Cahill’s statements had acted “as a silent endorsement” of her views.