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‘The mood of the country is depressed’ former director of Dublin Midlands Hospital Group says there is a need for ‘debate’ on restrictions


Dr Martin Feeley

Dr Martin Feeley

Dr Martin Feeley

The former clinical director of Dublin Midlands Hospital Group has said that there is a need for a “debate” surrounding government imposed restrictions which aim to suppress the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr Martin Feeley resigned from his post days after he criticised restrictions several weeks ago and speaking on Prime Time this evening, he said that there is a need for debate around restrictions.

“The cost to the community financially and socially is enormous and one of the difficulties with this is that we cannot measure those costs.

“The cost side is abstract. I cannot put a number on it.

“But I can tell you the mood of the people is depressed, the mood of the country is depressed and what I am suggesting is, or what I am asking really is, and I really am asking, I would like debate,” he said.

“I would like people to consider this and say, can we allow young people young working people, people with businesses, people with mortgages to pay, can we allow them to live a life, rather than just exist a life?”

Professor Sam McConkey of the Royal College of Surgeons was also speaking on the programme and the two doctors clashed over Prof McConkey’s suggestion that Ireland should face three to four months of stricter restrictions to reduce the numbers of cases.

He said that the “cost” of the restrictions and the “damage” that they are doing to children and young people should be considered.

“The cost of all this and the damage it is doing to our children, to our youth, our young people who are already worried enough about where they’re going in their lives, hard to get a job, hard to get an education.

“The people who are losing their jobs, the people who are losing their salaries, can't pay their mortgages, now really someone has to talk for those people.”

Dr Feeley also said that for people who are aged under 65 and not overweight, coronavirus “is not much worse than the seasonal flu”.

“We discovered that in effect, if you're under 65 if you have no other illnesses or diseases and in particular, if you are not overweight - and this seems to upset people but this is a fact - if you don't have conditions and are not overweight, your risk from this disease not negligible by any means but it's not much worse than what we call the seasonal flu, that’s for that age group.

“It’s only for that group of people that I'm saying that this disease is not much worse than the seasonal flu,” he said.

“That’s an established fact about the viralness and the lethality of this virus

“That's the majority of the Irish population, particularly the working population.”

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