Comment: Just days after Ireland was placed 'partially' back into lockdown, and during which time it emerged that government ministers and other big-wigs broke their own rules to get together for a golfing holiday at a resort in the west of Ireland, the people - at least, a portion of them - are saying they've had enough...

lockdown protest dublin
The protest took place against oppressive government restrictions and mandates. A HFI press release stated that the protest was held by Health Freedom Ireland (HFI) and Yellow Vest Ireland, protesting against government mandates, demanding transparency, proportionality of decisions and accountability by government officials and advisors.

The event took place today, Saturday, August 22nd 2020 at 2pm in front of the Custom House, Dublin 1. There have been mixed reports on the numbers of attendees at the event, with RTE suggesting 'hundreds' attended whereas citizen journalists claim there were thousands of people at the event.

This peaceful protest took the form of speeches and a march. Purple T-shirts were worn by supporters of Health Freedom Ireland as others wore yellow vests, many with "United Patriots" written on the jackets in solidarity. HFI has no political affiliations.

Speakers at the event included:
  • Ben Gilroy, anti-eviction and civil rights activist who spoke about constitutional rights
  • Michael Leahy, Human Rights and mental health advocate
  • Ken Duffy, motivational speaker and mental health advocate, speaking on human rights and homelessness in Ireland
  • Maeve Murran, Health Freedom Ireland co-chair, speaking about the proportionality of restrictions
  • Una McGurk, barrister and senior counsel, speaking about the impact of mandating masks without conclusive evidence
  • Prof. Dolores Cahill on the topics of natural immunity, vaccine development and testing accuracy

The group stated that, as of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK1, amongst other factors due to the low mortality rate2, yet despite this comparatively low risk and despite Ireland having some of the lowest rates of infection3 in western Europe, new legislation mandating mask-wearing has been ushered in, some five months since lockdown began. Experts across the world are challenging the supposed threat level of COVID-19, and demanding justification for the restrictions we are seeing in Ireland and elsewhere.

Individuals are threatened with €2,500 fines or six months imprisonment for refusing to wear a mask in places such as supermarkets, libraries and shopping centres, despite divided expert opinion over the safety and effectiveness of their use by the general public.5 Indeed, the WHO and the US CDC until very recently recommended that masks should not be used by the general population, but rather only by those who are sick.

There were four arrests at the event following clashes between some of the 20-30 Antifa members in attendance and other counter-protesters, although the event was largely peaceful. The organisers have praised An Garda Síochána [Irish police] for their work in overseeing the peaceful protest.

According to the HFI, government restrictions have been endured since the initial lockdown period when movements were restricted to within a 2km radius of the home. Now we have mandatory masks, hand sanitisers, social distancing, restrictions on numbers at funerals and weddings, testing, travel restrictions, and so on.

Ireland is facing a mental health tsunami of depression, suicide, self-harm, domestic violence and homelessness. For people these restrictions have meant isolation, disconnection, loss of autonomy, job loss, financial hardship, and hopelessness6 at the prospect of another long-term economic crisis and the never-ending restrictions.

Who will be held accountable for the deaths of despair resulting from these draconian measures? What is the death toll among those who did not get that cancer diagnoses until it was too late, because hospital schedules were cleared for a potential inundation of COVID-19 patients that never materialised?

The people's freedom to choose, and the right to bodily integrity, is rapidly being diminished under the guise of a 'public health crisis'. The mandates for masks set a dangerous precedent for future impingements upon freedoms. We challenge the proportionality of the government's measures to date:
  • Automated temperature checks
  • Implementing a contact tracing app, causing serious privacy and data-mining concerns7
  • Mandatory wearing of masks in many public places and on public transport
HFI is challenging government measures under discussion such as:
  • Potentially mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, or restrictions for those who decline this accelerated-to-market, liability-free vaccine
  • Mandatory COVID-19 testing at airports
  • Insistence on using the store-provided hand sanitisers, even when people bring their own
  • Discussion of social distancing, mask-wearing and other measures in schools
Full livestream video of the event: