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Bust-up bonus as Varadkar has a go at Nphet over Level 5 threat

Amanda Brunker


Pointing the finger: Leo Varadkar, with chief medical officer Tony Holohan Photo: Gerry Mooney

Pointing the finger: Leo Varadkar, with chief medical officer Tony Holohan Photo: Gerry Mooney

Pointing the finger: Leo Varadkar, with chief medical officer Tony Holohan Photo: Gerry Mooney

Leo versus Tony is the big-name feud we never saw coming. Forget Taylor Swift and Kanye West, or Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, or Taylor Swift and any of her ex-boyfriends. On reflection that girl has form.

Moving swiftly on (sorry, I couldn’t resist), Leo’s appearance with Claire Byrne on Monday certainly put the cat among the pigeons.

If we’re honest, it gave us all something to talk about other than how lovely Claire’s hair is.

Mind you, I’m still in shock at how heartless and out-of-touch Mattie McGrath was on the steps of the Dáil yesterday when he gave out about Dr Tony Holohan’s recent absence.

“He’s ridin’ back in like John Wayne, swingin’ his six guns – where was he?” is stupidly out-of-date language.

We all know where Dr Holohan has been, and McGrath was reminded to show some compassion, and then quickly apologised for causing offence. What a dope.

While childish rants are never helpful, I can’t help but be enthralled by the idea of a Leo and Tony smackdown. At least their cross words will be measured and intelligent.

In fairness, we’re all prepped for a high-brow war of words. If nothing else, we’ve become a more educated bunch during this pandemic.

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Six months ago, none of us knew what a virologist was. Now we throw words like “immunocompromised” and “epidemiologist” into conversation without tripping over our tongue.

Our knowledge is quite impressive now. We know what PPE is, and we even wear it ourselves.

We also learned what a wet pub is, and I think we all agree it’s a term we’d like to quickly forget.

If nothing else, I hope this spat with Leo has proved a good distraction for Dr Holohan. He could hardly call his first few days back at work dull

I think Leo Varadkar had no choice but to hang Nphet out to dry. The questioning would never have stopped after the information leak on Sunday night.

Nobody would have thanked them for throwing us into Level 5.

That said, it doesn’t seem like the current Level 3 status has brought down the Covid cases in either Dublin or Donegal, so I’m not sure if it will make a difference to other counties.

There’s a bigger picture that needs to be considered. Of course, Leo and Micheál were damned if they did close down the country and damned if they didn’t.

However, we have to be realistic. While catching Covid terrifies me, more people are dying from the fallout than of Covid. That’s a fact.

Also, the Government can only borrow cheap money for so long. The economy will collapse if we close down. Being able to work is a wonderful thing, and once precautions are in place, it’s healthier for us to work than not.

That said, there’s a part of me that would favour that “circuit-breaker” idea. I would happily endure a complete lockdown for two weeks if I thought it would stop the virus.

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