Great Danes


Sir, – I found the article by your European correspondent Naomi O’Leary on Denmark’s plan to finish vaccinating their population by June 27th very insightful (“Danish healthcare system expects to vaccinate 100,000 people a day as supplies ramp up”, World, February 23rd).

Its preparation, planning and early action are in stark contrast with Ireland’s actions.

While both countries are part of the EU purchasing deal, Denmark has been extremely smart in how they have proactively managed the situation while Ireland uses it as an excuse.

But the differences in the management of Covid don’t stop there. Both countries rightly lead with the actions their citizens need to take to keep the virus at bay and are in similar lockdowns. Denmark has a population of about 5.8 million people against Ireland’s 4.9 million. Denmark has had 208,000 cases against Ireland’s 215,00. But Denmark has an older population than Ireland with over a million people over the age of 65, whereas Ireland has about 650,00. Given than Covid has hit the oldest the hardest, you’d imagine that its mortality rate would be higher but it’s much lower! Denmark has had 1,800 fewer Covid deaths than Ireland. What is it doing differently? The key difference is testing and tracing. Denmark has completed five times the numbers of tests Ireland has. I believe aggressive testing can save lives. This is not news for Nphet and the HSE but they continue to ignore it. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – Possibly because I have recently been binge-watching the Netflix series Borgen, Denmark and Copenhagen have been very much on my mind.

Like ourselves, the Danes are a comparatively small player on the EU stage, with a similar population (just under a million more). Yet they plan to complete vaccination of their entire population before the end of June. Since they, like us, are EU members, we cannot invoke in this case the ready excuse that the fault lies with the European Commission’s tardy ordering procedures (as we might do when it is pointed out that Scotland, too, is well ahead of us).

The sad reality is that the Danes possess a capacity for organisation and discipline that seems to have been omitted from the Irish gene-pool. By the same token, we should note that Copenhagen plans to be the first capital city to be carbon neutral, and to achieve that by 2025.

I can’t resist adding that Denmark have also been winners of the Uefa European Championship (in 1992).

As for Ireland’s current international sporting performance in general, the less said the better.

Perhaps we need some gifted leader, at whatever level of our society, to shake us all out of our torpor, by posing, in a tone impossible to ignore, the question, “Where’s your f***ing pride?” – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.