Eipidéim | 

Doctor at centre of Varadkar leak row, Maitiú Ó Tuathail, to present new TG4 documentary

Dr Ó Tuathail is currently at the centre of an ongoing investigation into the alleged leaking of a confidential document

“I believe telling these stories will provide perspective but also hope, ' said Dr Ó Tuathail

Eilish O'Regan

Prominent GP Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail will co-present a new history and science documentary on TG4 exploring the history of epidemics in Ireland.

The new TG4 series, entitled Eipidéim, starts on May 4 and will delve into epidemics in Ireland’s past, including smallpox, typhus, polio and TB while eventually examining how they affected our response to Covid-19.

Dr Ó Tuathail is at the centre of an ongoing investigation into Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s leaking of a confidential government document to him when he was head of the now defunct National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) in 2019.

The NAGP represented 2,000 GPs, but without a negotiating licence, it was sidelined from talks between the Department of Health and rival GP group, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) although NAGP members would be asked to sign the agreement.

Mr Varadkar sent a copy of the draft agreement to Dr Ó Tuathail. It subsequently led to a garda investigation into Mr Varadkar’s role and a finding is awaited.

Dr Ó Tuathail, a fluent Irish speaker from Lettermore in Galway, will co-present with social historian Síobhra Aiken of Queen’s University, Belfast.

He said: “This Covid-19 pandemic, as well as those that have gone before, all follow a similar path.

“I believe telling these stories will provide perspective but also hope. We have come through epidemics and pandemics many, many times before. Each has had massive impacts and shaped the world in their own ways, much like this one will.”

Ms Aiken added: “These histories remind us that epidemics are an inescapable feature of human existence and offer examples of how communities have coped and endured.”

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