The Dean and Head of School of Medicine at University College Dublin (UCD) has not responded to complaints from students regarding Professor Dolores Cahill’s recent false and misleading claims regarding COVID-19.
Following coverage from this publication on UCD Professor Dolores Cahill’s misleading and false claims on COVID-19, The College Tribune received information that a number of students have complained to the UCD School of Medicine about Cahill’s misleading medical advice, but have received no response.
A group of students collaboratively wrote a letter detailing Cahill’s claims and providing scientific evidence which contradicts them. This letter was signed by 133 students from the UCD School of Medicine. Here is the statement from the students and here is their article addressing Prof Cahill’s claims.
The letter states that Professor Cahill’s “public statements are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19”. They go on to say, “it appears she is sharing biased, non peer reviewed data with low methodological quality which, when interpreted by the public as medical advice could endanger their own and public health”.
The letter was sent on Monday to the Head of Medicine Professor Michael Keane, his Personal Assistant, and the College Principal of the College of Health and Agricultural Science Dr. Cecily Kelleher. It was accompanied by a 32-page (over 15,000 word) document which goes through Cahill’s claims one by one and provides mounds of scientific evidence which directly contradict her statements.
The letter urges the university to:
- Consider how Professor Cahill’s actions reflect on the University and its reputation.
- Consider the standard of education paid for and expected by the future healthcare professionals, researchers, and scientists.
- Consider how the university’s lack of any statement disavowing Professor Cahill’s statements acts as a silent endorsement
The students who wrote and supported this letter wish to remain anonymous for fear of personal and professional retaliation, given that Cahill is still in a position to grade their work. In addition, the FAQ which was shared with students states that “students who have publicly spoken out against these claims made by Professor Cahill have been bullied and harassed by supporters of Cahill with personal insults, discriminatory messages, and threats of violence made against their person.”
A source who wishes to remain anonymous, has told The College Tribune that, prior to writing the letter, several students sent emails to members of faculty to complain about Cahill’s misinformation, but that these complaints were ignored by multiple UCD academics, including Professor Michael Keane. The College Tribune has received evidence that students sent these emails on the 12th of May, just one day after Cahill’s interview with Computing Forever.
The Irish Times recently published an article which revealed that Cahill has been asked to resign from the EU Scientific Committee as a result of her misleading claims about COVID-19. This has left many wondering why UCD has not taken similar steps. Professor Cahill currently has full tenure, which has an element of job security for the UCD Doctor.
Professor Keane was approached for comment on our original article and has now been approached again to respond to the allegation that he has failed to respond to student complaints. At the time of writing, he has not responded to either attempt to contact him.
The College Tribune has approached a number of UCD academics for comment, with only two agreeing to talk off the record. These sources have asked to remain anonymous, although both agree that Cahill’s claims contradict the best available scientific evidence.
More to follow…
Adam Boland – Science Editor