radical move | 

Huge reaction to Prof Sam McConkey's suggestion men may need 'licence' to socialise

'Do we need some sort of, almost, qualification, licensing, education for men to go out into the social sphere?'

Professor Sam McConkey said we had emerged from the coronavirus pandemic “exceptionally well”

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Comments made by Professor Sam McConkey on RTE radio where he suggested men should be required to have a license to enter ‘social spheres’ have created a storm of reaction on social media.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 with Brendan O’Connor on Sunday, McConkey, the well-known infectious diseases expert, said that Ashling Murphy’s killing “leaves us in speechless, cold, seething anger”.

“My view is to be radical," he said.

"You need 12 lessons to learn to drive a car.

"You need a license to drive a car. You need to do a test. Do we need some sort of, almost, qualification, licensing, education for men to go out into the social sphere?”

He added: “People would say, is that an impingement on our rights of free movement? And we’ve obviously all been through this through Covid.

"But as we’ve just heard, many women feel their ability to free move is restricted because of danger.”

A tweet referring to Professor McConkey’s remarks generated a huge reaction online with the majority of people slamming him for his opinion.

Professor McConkey, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, has been one of the most prominent voices in Irish media during the Covid pandemic.

“The ‘experts’ are floundering,” one person wrote, objecting to McConkey. “What are they going to say next?”

“This is the guy that said over 100,000 would die in first wave - why oh why is he still being asked ‘any’ opinion?”

Another added: “This is the most extreme off the wall bonkers idea I have heard in possibly all of my lifetime. How main stream media are allowing this stuff unchallenged troubles me greatly. Wowsers.”

“This is bonkers stuff,” another added. “Why is this guy given any airtime at all?”

On person half-joked: “If I had a time machine I'd go back to 2007 and bring someone, anyone, to 2022 and have them listen to this. The sight of their jaw dropping to the floor would be priceless.”

However, one person who appeared to support his view stated: “To be fair, the way authoritarianism is gaining ground all men could be tagged or micro chipped in 10 years. If we want to live in a free society we have to accept a level of risk....”

Another suggested: “I think we need a parallel society at this point. One where people are judged not by the colour of their skin, or what's between their legs, but the content of their character.”

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