Micheál Martin does not expect Tony Holohan to be called into an investigation into government handling of the pandemic

Taoiseach Mícheál Martin is not expecting an HSE chief Paul Reid or chief physician Tony Holohan be summoned as witnesses during a Covid investigation. He said he didn’t like it when people had to “watch their Ps and Qs” or “look over their shoulders” in times of crisis.

We promised the investigation would be a “comprehensive assessment” so the country would be ready to act on future pandemics.

Proposals for an inquiry into how governments are dealing with the pandemic are expected to be presented within a few weeks, he added.

But health chiefs, who have played a central role in Ireland’s response to the pandemic, will not be on the witness stand at Dublin Castle as part of the inquest.

“I don’t see it in that light,” said Mr. Martin, pHighlight of Washington DC during his St. Patrick’s Day visit.

The Taoiseach said he recognizes that people in public roles will learn from the pandemic, but it’s important that they feel empowered to act decisively if called upon to do so in the future.

“When a crisis happens, an event that only happens every 100 years, mistakes are made. It’s important to learn from them, especially the officials, because they’ve been in the lion’s den from the start.”

Officials are “in the kitchen from the start, and it’s about 24-hour responses,” he said.

“So I don’t want people looking over their shoulders like other crises in the future and saying, ‘There’s an investigation behind my back and I better watch my Ps and Qs here’ or make decisions based on that what people might ask them later.

“You must make the right decision at this point, based on your judgment and based on the advice you are receiving.”

The Taoiseach had previously said that a “comprehensive review” was needed to analyze how the state was handling the pandemic.

He said this will help teach the lessons that “need to be learned” which will help manage future pandemics.

“We must learn all the lessons we need to learn to ensure that we can respond even more effectively in the future should another pandemic occur,” he said.

He said there had been “discussions” recently. in the government regarding the request.

Officials are currently working with Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly on “detailed proposals,” he added.

“[The pandemic] has taken a terrible toll on our people, and we still need that assessment of what we’ve done. I hope that we will have proposals on this within the next few weeks,” said Mr Martin.

“People would want that within a reasonable amount of time.”

The Taoiseach was scheduled to attend today’s National Day of Remembrance and Reflection ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin but is instead isolating in Washington DC after testing positive for Covid-19.

After a positive test on Wednesday evening Mr. Martin had to cancel his much-anticipated visit to the White House and instead hold virtual talks with US President Joe Biden.

The positive test has upset other government plans.

Mr. Martin will be attending a cabinet meeting virtually this week, but he must remain in the US until he is permitted to travel. He said he will be in touch with ministers and will manage “day by day” until he returns home.

His extended stay in the US means he could also miss this week’s European summit in Brussels over talks over the war in Ukraine. US President Joe Biden is also expected.

The US President met Mr Martin briefly at a gala event last week before their official virtual meeting at the White House, but the encounter was too brief for Mr Biden to be classified as a close contact.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/micheal-martin-does-not-expect-tony-holohan-to-be-called-in-to-inquiry-into-the-states-handling-of-the-pandemic-41467122.html Micheál Martin does not expect Tony Holohan to be called into an investigation into government handling of the pandemic

Fry Electronics Team

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