“The fact that NPHET is now governing this country, rather than the government of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party, is nothing short of a disgrace.”
Those were the words of Independent TD, Carol Nolan, as she reacted furiously to the government’s decision to delay the re-opening of indoor dining services.
“NPHET has a mandate to give advice. It does not have a mandate to govern this country, and never will,” she stressed during a Dáil debate.
“It must be strongly challenged in this house because what the government has done to businesses is absolutely unjustifiable. Many businesses had put in their orders. This did not happen anywhere else in Europe.”
In putting forward her points, she said that no other European countries have prohibited indoor dining.
“However, this government does not seem to be standing up for its own people. In fact, it appears to be betraying every sector of society.”
“We need only look at the fishermen, farmers and small businesses the government has helped to destroy.”
“We saw this week that the economic recovery here is on a knife-edge in terms of the ongoing restrictions and draconian measures put in place, which will force many small businesses to close their doors permanently.”
“When I speak about small businesses, I mean businesses that have been passed down through generations in Irish families,” she added.
‘We will never hit zero-Covid’
Earlier this week, the deputy urged the government to proceed with the full re-opening of indoor dining services.
“People’s patience has simply run out. Employers are exhausted. They are broken, financially and emotionally, by the constant and apparently never-ending dominance of public health advice to the exclusion of all other considerations.”
“We will never hit zero-Covid. But we have reached zero-common sense.”
“We know that the Delta variant poses a risk. But we also know that Ireland is unique in all Europe in terms of the scale and level of restrictions that have imposed. That absolutely must end.”
“People need to live again. They need hope and not the ongoing imposition of the autocratic, fanatical tunnel vision of NPHET, for whom no amount of even the most prudent risk seems to be acceptable,” concluded deputy Nolan.