'Some of the scenes looked like V-Day' - Dr Colm Henry on Dublin crowds


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.45 31 May 2021


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The scenes of large crowds gathering over the weekend "looked like V-Day" celebrations, Dr Colm Henry says.

The HSE's Chief Clinical Officer says COVID-19 "doesn't surrender", and the pandemic is a "war" that still continues.

He was speaking after large crowds gathered in the capital on Saturday evening, including around the South William Street and Temple Bar areas.

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan expressed shock over the scenes, suggesting it looked like a "major open-air" party.

On Newstalk Breakfast, Dr Henry said it's understandable why some people feel the need for "some kind of release" as restrictions ease.

'Some of the scenes looked like V-Day' - Dr Colm Henry on Dublin crowds

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He said: "Younger people for the most part did their best to protect their older citizens. A huge acknowledgement is required by all of us to them… they’ve suffered from isolation and lost opportunities in life.

“But some of the scenes looked like V-Day, as if the virus had surrendered. This virus doesn’t surrender.

“It exploits our weakest position - and our weakest position of course is those who are unvaccinated. It exploits congested gatherings, and certainly situations where there is alcohol."

“This is not V-Day… it’s a longer war.”

He acknowledged that outdoor gatherings are safer than indoors when it comes to COVID-19, but warned that congested crowds for long periods with alcohol involved “do not mix well”.

However, he said there’s still a “huge amount” to be optimistic about - including a significant collapse in COVID-19 case numbers, especially among vaccinated groups.

It’s expected that 50% of the adult population will have received at least one dose of a vaccine by the end of today.

Main image: Split-screen image of crowds in Dublin (left, picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images) and Dr Colm Henry (right, picture by Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie)

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