University College Dublin’s Students’ Union has called for an investigation into UCD School of Medicine’s Professor Dolores Cahill for “gross misconduct.”
Conor Anderson, President of UCD Students’ Union said Prof Cahill, who chairs the far-right Irish Freedom Party, has propagated a number of “medically-inaccurate conspiracy theories in service of a far-right political agenda throughout the Covid-19 pandemic”. He said she is not an expert in virology, epidemiology, or public health.
Mr Anderson said he has written to the head of the UCD School of Medicine and the head of UCD Human Resources to request that Prof Cahill be investigated under Statute 28 of the Universities Act 1997 which defines gross misconduct, in part, as “deliberate disregard for health and safety precautions likely to endanger another person.”
The university has sought to distance itself from comments made by Prof Cahill at an anti-lockdown event organised by her party in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day.
Using people’s fears and frustrations to peddle misinformation is shameful.— UCD Students' Union (@UCDSU) March 17, 2021
UCD Students’ Union totally condemns Prof. Cahill’s comments. https://t.co/ufKnLiYBC5
At the event, Prof Cahill told the crowd the wearing of masks would mean that children would "never reach their IQ and job potential because their brains are starved of oxygen,” adding that the reason “globalists” are “putting down the masks” is due to the fact “oxygen-deprived people are easier to manipulate”.
Mr Anderson said it was unfortunate that her words were far-reaching and said many people have “justifiably” been duped into believing she is an expert in the field due to her links to the UCD School of Medicine.
“It is of the utmost importance that we as a University explain to the public that Prof Cahill has no expertise in the area of public health or virology, and we do have qualified experts in this area in UCD”
UCD have confirmed Prof Cahill is not currently lecturing in UCD’s School of Medicine.
Last year, 133 students signed a letter calling for action from UCD when Ms Cahill appeared in a video on Covid-19, in which she made a number of inaccurate claims.
Students said the failure of the university to disavow Prof Cahill’s statements had acted “as a silent endorsement” of her views.