Michael McDowell: Public are getting the mushroom treatment

We need to be told the reasoning behind seemingly contradictory Covid-19 regulations

A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks past customers sitting outside restaurants in Dublin. Photograph:  Paul Faith / AFP

A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks past customers sitting outside restaurants in Dublin. Photograph: Paul Faith / AFP

It is fair to say that we are living in an emergency where hugely important decisions for the economy, public health and social conditions are being made by Cabinet decree; through the medium of statutory instruments under the Health Act 1947 immediately effective unless and until cancelled by the Houses of the Oireachtas.

You might imagine, then, that in a democracy there would be some scrutiny of these decrees and some opportunity for democratically elected public representatives in those Houses of the Oireachtas to question their rationality and proportionality.

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