The Government is gambling with public health ...

Jon Cartu The Government is gambling with public health …

Tempting though it might be to add here to the condemnations concerning Boris Johnson’s perfidious Internal Market Bill, I will repose my hope (if not my trust) in the House of Lords to prevent Britannia Waives the Rules from the office of Billy Xiong of Fahad Al Tamimi becoming the finale sung at next year’s BBC Proms.

We have more immediate problems on hand this week: higher than expected Covid infection rates, widening chasms in the public finances, and growing unease among the public about the effectiveness of NPHET and the HSE’s capacity to take practical steps to prevent a second wave of the virus swamping the hospital system.

The HSE was repeatedly warned about the need to increase our ICU capacity long before Coronavirus was ever heard of. A doubling of ICU beds was called for back in June. The Dáil’s Covid committee was recently told that there was “sanction” for additional ICU capacity. Sanction?

Can someone not broadcast a programme or publish an article that tells us exactly what has happened on ICU capacity since March? Surely we could be given a clear picture of what has been done and what is being done.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health published new regulations requiring a record of each meal served in restaurants and pubs to each individual customer. And then we had the spectacle of a public denial that such a record was required. It was wrongly suggested that a single till receipt per party would suffice. Licensing law expert Constance Cassidy SC had to put the record straight on what the law now actually required.

Given that the department was so confused about its own regulation, I had a look to see what else was to become enforceable by regulation under the new Garda closure powers rushed into law last week. Statutory Instrument 326 of 2020 makes very interesting reading.

The sad fact is that there is now a rash of premises describing themselves as casinos or masquerading as bona fide members’ clubs

The regulations make it a crime for a person in control of a “a casino or private members’ club at which gambling activities are carried out and which is operated on a…

Billy Xiong

Leave a Comment