'What's the bloody point?' - Regina Doherty slams proposed COVID restrictions

She says these restrictions do not seem to follow data and science
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.31 17 Dec 2021

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'What's the bloody point?' - R...

'What's the bloody point?' - Regina Doherty slams proposed COVID restrictions

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.31 17 Dec 2021

Share this article

The leader of Fine Gael in the Seanad says new proposed COVID-19 restrictions don't make sense.

Regina Doherty was speaking as pubs and restaurants could be forced to shut at 5.00pm from next week under the latest advice from NPHET.

The health officials have advised Government to introduce the new closing times in response to the Omicron variant.


They also called for all indoor sporting and cultural events to take place before 5.00pm and be capped at 50% capacity.

Senator Doherty told Lunchtime Live this would hurt people's confidence and affect their behaviour.

"I think the frustration is being felt widespread across the country, and indeed even by myself.

"I've a real concern... insofar as what this will do to people's behaviour, what it will do to people's confidence, what it will do to industries and to employment."

Senator Doherty says any business supports will have to be reinstated to affected businesses.

And she says people will begin to question why they are getting vaccinated.

"The real concern I have is the message that this is going to send out to people who are double-vaccinated and boosted - that they can't go and have a pint and a pizza.

"You saw the Taoiseach a couple of weeks ago telling the world that people weren't showing up for their boosters.

"People are now questioning today that if I'm double-vaccinated and boosted and I still can't go for a pizza and a pint, what's the bloody point?".

She says these restrictions do not seem to follow data and science.

"There's an incredible frustration and disparity about the way we have treated Irish people and how people are feeling.

"If decisions need to be made on the basis of good public health, and on science and on data - as we have been told consistently for the last two years - then this doesn't make sense.

"We have a population that's the most vaccinated, nearly, in the world.

"We have more than a million and a half people are going to be boosted before Christmas.

"And yet we have our public health advisors telling us that living with COVID is now closing down businesses.

"That's not acceptable".

'They've lost the room'

And she says while she has expressed her view to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, she can't understand his position.

"I think they're all well aware - but I think we can also see the concern and the tone from the texts and the tweets from some of our political leaders today is that the hangover from the decisions that were made last year are obviously weighing heavy on people's shoulder.

"But if we are to believe that this year is different from last year.... is all of that for nothing?

"Our job is to try and relay that information to those people who have to make decisions this afternoon and this evening.

"If what we're truly advising is to close businesses at 5 o'clock, we're saying that that's all for nothing.

"I've a real concern about what that will do to the remanding [sic] vaccination process that's obviously going to be ongoing.

"They've lost the room, they've stopped listening - and I think that's really, really scary and dangerous".

Main image: Senator Regina Doherty speaking to the media at Leinster House in June 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell /

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