The UCD Students Union has called on the college to investigate one of its professors over her involvement in a lockdown protest in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day.
Professor Dolores Cahill spoke at the event in Herbert Park on Wednesday.
At the protest, Prof Cahill claimed that children would "never reach their IQ and job potential” if they were forced to wear masks.
She also insisted mandatory masks were introduced because “oxygen-deprived people are easier to manipulate.”
The academic at the UCD School of Medicine is the chair of the Irish Freedom Party and has made a number of misleading claims about the virus through the pandemic.
In a statement, UCDSU President Conor Anderson said the union was now calling on the college to investigate Prof Cahill for “gross misconduct.”
“Dolores Cahill has been propagating medically-inaccurate conspiracy theories in service of a far-right political agenda throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Unfortunately, her words are far-reaching. Professor Cahill has amassed a huge following and exerts considerable influence over the general public who do not realise she is not an expert in virology, epidemiology, or public health.”
He accused Prof Cahill of using her role at UCD to ‘dupe’ people into believing she is an expert in public health.
“It is of the upmost importance that we as a university explain to the public that Prof Cahill has no expertise in the area of public health or virology.
“If you require accurate scientific information on viruses, please listen to Professors in the National Virus Reference Laboratory or the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases.
“Dolores Cahill does not have the expertise to inform you on Covid-19 and is merely telling you her political ideas and none of it is based on scientific research by the UCD School of Medicine.”
‘Family and mental health day'
He said he asked for Prof Cahill to be investigated for gross misconduct, which is defined under the Universities Act as “deliberate disregard for health and safety precautions likely to endanger another person.”
The Herbert Park protest was billed as a ‘family and mental health day,’ with up to 500 people attending.
At the protest, Prof Cahill wrongly claimed that asymptomatic people do not exist and labelled gardaí “criminal and unlawful” for enforcing COVID-19 restrictions.
UCD has already distanced itself from Prof Cahill’s claims and noted that she is not currently lecturing in the college.
Prof Cahill has been contacted for comment.