GP at centre of Varadkar controversy has become prominent over recent years

Ó Tuathail was elected president of National Association of General Practitioners at the age of 29

Former NAGP president Dr Maitiú O Tuathail. Photograph: Conor Healy/Picture It Photography

Former NAGP president Dr Maitiú O Tuathail. Photograph: Conor Healy/Picture It Photography

 

Maitiú Ó Tuathail, the general practitioner (GP) involved in the controversy over receiving a confidential contract document from the then taoiseach Leo Varadkar, has become a prominent figure in both the medical and media worlds over the last number of years.

From Lettermore in Co Galway, he became president of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) in 2018 at the age of 29. At the time he was a GP trainee, practising in Rathfarnham, Dublin.

He was prominent in a campaign for the reversal of cuts imposed on general practice during the years of austerity. He warned that the traditional family doctor service was facing serious pressures, and without greater State investment patients were facing the prospect of lengthy waiting times to see their GP.

However, in April 2019, Ó Tuathail stood down as NAGP president and a number of members of the organisation’s national council resigned amid allegations of dysfunctional governance and inappropriate spending.

Ó Tuathail, who currently works as a GP in Ranelagh, Dublin, said he resigned from the organisation as he had “grave concerns” with regards to its governance.

Ó Tuathail is prominent on social media, and has also become a well-known figure on radio and television during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

During the summer a video he recorded regarding the use of face masks went viral on social media. The video, in which he worse six different masks, was aimed to demonstrate to patients with concerns that contrary to what people may be reading online, wearing a face mask did not reduce a person’s oxygen levels.