Michael McDowell: There needs to be greater oversight of the Covid-19 response

The State powers are largely exercised with little or no democratic accountability

The Dáil has been advised to ‘remove itself to the sepulchral vastness of the Convention Centre in Dublin [above] where it is almost impossible to conduct meaningful debate’. Photograph: Maxwell Photography/PA Wire

The Dáil has been advised to ‘remove itself to the sepulchral vastness of the Convention Centre in Dublin [above] where it is almost impossible to conduct meaningful debate’. Photograph: Maxwell Photography/PA Wire

Every year in Ireland about 30,000 of us die. That is about 2,500 people every month. Of those people, approximately 30 per cent (770 monthly) are attributed to cancer and another 30 per cent (about 750 per month) are attributed to heart disease. In the last month for which official data is available, there were 25 Covid-related deaths. The majority of those 25 deaths were cases in which there was co-morbidity: underlying serious health problems other than Covid.

These facts are of no consolation to the loved ones of those who have died. Because they are loved, there is no comfort in cold statistics and nobody engaged in public discourse can be indifferent to or dismissive of the real anguish that Covid is causing.

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