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UCD Professor Dolores Cahill resigns as Irish Freedom Party chair days after protest speech

Video footage on her Facebook page shows Prof Cahill speaking through a microphone, saying that the “globalists” are enforcing the wearing of masks because “oxygen-deprived people are easy to manipulate”.

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Anti-lockdown protesters in Herbert Park, Dublin, on St Patrick's Day. Photo: Mark Condren.

Anti-lockdown protesters in Herbert Park, Dublin, on St Patrick's Day. Photo: Mark Condren.

Anti-lockdown protesters in Herbert Park, Dublin, on St Patrick's Day. Photo: Mark Condren.

UCD Professor Dolores Cahill has resigned as chair of the Irish Freedom Party, it emerged last night.

Her resignation as party chair comes after the students’ union at UCD - where Prof Cahill is a member of the university’s medical school faculty - called on college authorities to investigate Prof Cahill’s attendance at an anti-lockdown protest on St Patrick’s Day.

Prof Cahill spoke to protestors at the event in Herbert Park, Dublin, last Wednesday, which she helped to organise.

Ms Cahill created the Facebook event page for the ‘Le Chéile Day’ protest in Herbert Park, which was promoted as being a demonstration highlighting mental health issues arising from the pandemic.

Several hundred people attended the protest, where Prof Cahill spoke to the crowd.

Video footage on her Facebook page shows Prof Cahill speaking through a microphone, saying that the “globalists” are enforcing the wearing of masks because “oxygen-deprived people are easy to manipulate”.

“If everybody just stopped wearing masks this would be over,” she said.

The World Health Organisation has said that in the battle against Covid-19, masks should be used as part “a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives”.

“This lockdown is based on lies,” Prof Cahill said, to cheers from the crowd.

UCD distanced itself from Ms Cahill’s comments in a statement to Independent.ie last week, and said the university said it does not discuss individual staff members.

It also said that Prof Cahill is not scheduled to teach students or co-ordinate modules this semester.

"The views expressed by Dolores Cahill are her own. They do not reflect the position of the University,” said a spokesperson.

"Dolores Cahill is not scheduled to teach or coordinate modules this semester. The University does not discuss individual staff members.”

It said that the university “continues to fully support the public health position taken by the Irish Government concerning Covid-19.”

“This includes vaccination rollout, treatment for Covid-19 patients and societal restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus,” the spokesperson added.

A statement released by the Irish Freedom Party this evening confirmed Prof Cahill’s resignation and expressed the party’s “immense gratitude” for her contribution to the party.

“She has played a key role in developing the organisation, enhancing the party profile and attracting new members. She publicly defended our natural freedoms to travel, work, worship and meet our families in a time of lockdown.

“Professor Cahill is an exceptionally talented person, one of Ireland’s top academics who is involved in a number of different organisations. She is a fearless advocate of freedom at a time of great upheaval in Ireland and around the world. We wish her every success in the future,” the statement read.

Professor Cahill was unavailable for comment this evening.

The party, which has no elected councillors or Oireachtas members, confirmed that Michael Leahy was unanimously voted in as new chairman.

Mr Leahy, an architect and former member of the board of An Bórd Pleanála ran in the 2020 General Election in Clare but was eliminated in the third count.

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