Fintan O’Toole: Baffling Government decision to tear up crisis plan has three bad effects
Government adopted system for handling emergencies in 2017 but has ignored it
Government has a very well thought through system for managing emergencies – but it is more or less completely ignoring it. Photograph: David Sleator
Simon Harris: Should have called together the National Emergency Co-ordination Group – the document explicitly instructs that the lead department “should not hesitate in convening a NECG in the case of an ongoing or threatened emergency of national gravity”. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA
In the management of a crisis, two things matter: people and systems. Almost everyone would agree that in Ireland the people part has been terrific. Ministers, civil servants and public health scientists are working day and night to save as many lives as possible.
Nothing in what follows here is intended to question the integrity and dedication of any of these people. But individual effort and expertise have to be channelled into robust and rational systems if they are to be fully effective. That is not happening.