Thirty-six students attended an online town hall on the recent conduct of UCD Professor Dolores Cahill, an academic who has come under fire for her Covid-19 scepticism, as well as her active role in anti-lockdown demonstrations.
The town hall, which was hosted by the Students’ Union on the 29th of March, was primarily attended by medical students. Prof. Cahill’s position as an academic in UCD has come under considerable criticism from stakeholders nationwide, and the University is currently performing an inquiry into her position in the school.
“Without expert background in the field, and with no research on her side, she must not be taken seriously. [sic]”
In a press comment released after the town hall, SU President Conor Anderson shared that the Union would be contacting the Irish Medical Council on behalf of UCD students. He also announced, “a grassroots social media campaign to promote the exhaustive work done last summer by UCD medical students in debunking Cahill’s false claims and bad science.”
Anderson argued that Cahill’s recent comments fall beyond the remit of academic freedom, saying it also “requires academic integrity, which Cahill fails to demonstrate when she makes unfounded claims that mask-wearing leads to brain damage.” Anderson went on to say that “Prof. Cahill is not an expert in the fields of virology, epidemiology, or public health, and so is not able to make credible academic claims on those topics. Without expert background in the field, and with no research on her side, she must not be taken seriously.”
Cahill recently resigned as the chair of the far-right Irish Freedom Party, just a few days after her appearance at a St. Patrick’s Day anti-lockdown rally she helped organize. A few months earlier, she was asked to step down from an EU scientific committee, due to her views on the effectiveness of mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines.
Jack McGee – Reporter