Fintan O'Toole: State bumbling along with ad hoc decision-making as Covid crisis worsens

We are bumbling along with ad hoc arrangements created in a panic last March

Dr Tony Holohan and team at a Covid -19 update press conference. ‘It is not the job of Nphet or of the Expert Advisory Group to make decisions. That’s the Government’s job – the experts advise and recommend, the Government chooses.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan and team at a Covid -19 update press conference. ‘It is not the job of Nphet or of the Expert Advisory Group to make decisions. That’s the Government’s job – the experts advise and recommend, the Government chooses.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Last Saturday there were intensive discussions at the highest level about whether the country’s anti-coronavirus measures should be raised to Level 5. So far as I can see, every single person involved in those discussions was male. There were six members of the Government – the three party leaders plus Paschal Donohoe, Michael McGrath and Stephen Donnelly.

They were briefed by four men: Dr Tony Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn, Prof Philip Nolan and Paul Reid. I assume the secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach and chair of the Covid-19 oversight group, Martin Fraser, was also heavily involved. So 11 people were engaged in making a crucial decision for Irish society and not one of them is a woman.

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