Fintan O’Toole: Democracies learn from mistakes. We need an honest inquiry into the pandemic

We need to look honestly at the mistakes and report quickly on the lessons to be drawn

Covid-19 has been a ferocious stress test for the Government. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/Pool/AP

Covid-19 has been a ferocious stress test for the Government. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/Pool/AP

The Irish banking calamity reached its climax on September 29th, 2008, when the State issued its fateful guarantee for deposits and liabilities. The Oireachtas inquiry into the disaster published its report on January 27th, 2016. There were 2,676 days between the event and the official postmortem.

On this precedent, if we were to date the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland to February 29th, 2020, when the first death was reported, our official inquiry will report on June 28th, 2027. 

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