Irish Medical Official Claimed He Never Said Schools Were COVID Safe… But Did

A health worker directs people at a walk-in portable testing centre for Covid-19 operated
PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images

A senior Irish medical official has claimed that he never called schools safe environments with regards to COVID-19, despite previously saying they were.

Ireland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn stated on Wednesday that he and his colleagues never called schools a “safe environment”, despite Glynn personally calling schools just that in an interview last year.

Regarding the risk of transmission in schools, Dr Glynn stated that schools are not as safe as they were previously. He went on to apparently falsely claim that he and the government never referred to schools as being a safe environment from the Chinese coronavirus.

“We’ve never said that schools are a safe environment,” Dr Glynn declared in an interview with radio station Newstalk, claiming: “We’ve said they’re a lower risk environment.”

However, video evidence soon emerged pointing to the contrary. In an interview with the Irish Second Level Student’s Union posted on the official Youtube channel of the Irish Department of Education, the Deputy CMO refers to schools as being “safe”.

“What we’ve seen from September to date is that in general, schools have been what we regard as a safe environment.” Dr Glynn stated.

“Again, that doesn’t mean there won’t be cases or clusters but it means that all of the protective measures in place… have created an environment that, by and large, has been safe.”

Many more examples of government officials, both elected and otherwise, describing schools as “safe environments” have been cited, with the Irish Independent compiling a list of examples.

Some highlights from the list include Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, stating in a letter in January that schools are “safe environments, with very little evidence of transmission within schools.”

Prime Minister Michéal Martin pronounced: “All public health analysis is showing that schools are safe.”

Irish government ministers have even used the fact that senior Irish medical officials have repeatedly called schools safe environments to justify decisions surrounding education policy during the pandemic.

In October of 2020, for example, Irish Minister for Education Norma Foley stated that schools could stay open as they were not significantly contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

“Everything that we know to date and everything that has been confirmed to us again today in terms of public health is telling us that our schools can remain open and that they are essentially safe spaces for the entire school community,” Minister Foley said.

She added: “Public health has confirmed that as we stand it is their adjudication that schools are safe places for students to attend, and indeed I should also say, for the entire school community.”

The Republic of Ireland, as with many countries in Europe, has seen increasingly strict lockdown restrictions being imposed on its people as of late.

Unvaccinated individuals who cannot show proof of recovery from the Chinese coronavirus within the past six months are currently banned from eating and drinking indoors at bars and restaurants.

Those without COVID passes are also barred from cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, and from visiting nursing homes. On Tuesday, an Irish Senator suggested that the measures should be expanded to supermarkets and public transport.

“If you want to participate in society, you need to be vaccinated,” Senator Gerry Horkan of Fianna Fáil stated, going on to say that those who do not want to get vaccinated should stay at home.


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