UCD Students' Union calls for investigation into professor's speech at anti-lockdown event
Cahill is not teaching any classes this term.
The UCD Students' Union has called on college authorities to investigate the comments made by Professor Dolores Cahill at an event in Herbert Park in Dublin this week.
Cahill, a faculty member at the UCD school of medicine and the chair of the Irish Freedom Party, was an organiser and speaker at the anti-lockdown protest on Wednesday.
The UCDSU has called for an investigation to determine whether her comments at the event constitute gross misconduct.
“Dolores Cahill has been propagating medically-inaccurate conspiracy theories in service of a far-right political agenda throughout the Covid-19 pandemic," UCDSU President Conor Anderson said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, her words are far-reaching. Professor Cahill has amassed a huge following and exerts considerable influence over the general public who do not realise she is not an expert in virology, epidemiology, or public health.
“Cahill is using her role in UCD to position herself as an expert voice to the anti-mask, anti-lockdown far right. Many people have justifiably been duped into believing that Cahill is an expert in the field due to her links to the UCD School of Medicine, and they therefore believe her position warrants listening to. It is of the upmost 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.
“If you require accurate scientific information on viruses, please listen to Professors in the National Virus Reference Laboratory or the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases. Dolores Cahill does not have the expertise to inform you on Covid-19 and is merely telling you her political ideas and none of it is based on scientific research by the UCD School of Medicine.”
He added: “I have 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.
“This statute defines gross misconduct, in part, as ‘deliberate disregard for health and safety precautions likely to endanger another person’.”
Speaking at the protest in Herbert Park on St Patrick’s Day, Professor Cahill said that “globalists” were responsible for the mandating of mask wearing because “oxygen-deprived people are easy to manipulate”.
She also said children wearing face masks were being "starved" of oxygen and will have a lower IQ because of it.
The Irish Times reported earlier this week that Professor Cahill will not be teaching or coordinating any classes during the current academic term.
A UCD spokesperson said Professor Cahill's comments do not reflect the views of the University.
JOE has reached out to Professor Cahill for comment on the matter.