'headless chickens' | 

Newstalk’s Ciara Kelly not convinced response to Covid-19 crisis was right

“Personally, I don't think we should have locked down to the extent that we did”

Dr Ciara Kelly

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Newstalk Breakfast host Ciara Kelly has said the public were like “headless chickens” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Responding to reports that a Covid-19 inquiry is to be set up by the middle of this year, the presenter said Ireland was operating through a prism of fear.

The Government is set to establish the inquiry to focus on informing future responses to public health emergencies, according to The Irish Times.

Ciara said she was “less and less convinced that we got it right”.

"I think we operated during the pandemic, genuinely, with the best of intentions.

"It was a very dynamic situation, we were lurching from crisis to crisis.

"There's going to be more and more pandemics, that's what we keep being told, then we have to learn lessons.

"Personally, I don't think we should have locked down to the extent that we did; I think schools should have remained open, particularly for kids with special needs."

Ciara said she believes other services, such as health screenings, should have kept going.

"I think the health service should have been nimbler and operated, so that other health services were allowed co-exist with Covid," she said.

"I think we operated through the prism of fear, a little bit like headless chickens.

"I think we probably did save lives... at the expense of other lives over time.

"We've seen an excess number of deaths since the pandemic for a variety of reasons, and we need to look at the big picture.

"My gut tells me shielding still would have been better: protect the vulnerable, allow the rest of society to get on.

"There was so many ramifications from the lockdowns for the rest of society, that I'm not sure we got it right," she added.

Today's Headlines

More Irish Showbiz

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos