The Counter-Disinformation Unit (CDU), which was set up by UK ministers to tackle supposed domestic “threats”, amassed posts from Telegram about the director of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Prof Carl Heneghan, an epidemiologist who was critical of lockdown measures.
Prof Heneghan has told The Telegraph that “the effect of these tactics is chilling. They raise serious questions about the true extent of the Government operations – who and what was captured within their spying net.”
The CDU also captured information about Prof Heneghan’s appearance before the Dáil Covid Committee chaired by Michael McNamara T.D. 13 Aug 2020.
The CDU noted how Prof Heneghan told the Dáil committee that “cloth masks ‘may actually increase the risk of infection’ and explained the shortcomings of mandated policies based on observational data as opposed to scientific evidence”.
Writing in the Telegraph, Prof Heneghan says:
“A year ago, one of our articles reported that the death toll might be lower than thought, leading to a Twitter takedown. After reviewing 800 responses to freedom of information requests, it was clear there were several flaws in how deaths were recorded.
When we pointed this out, the account @carlheneghan was “locked” because it was “violating the policy on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19”.
He goes on to say: “However, these attempts to silence dissenters were surpassed by the Government’s efforts to censor individuals who publicly criticised their Covid policies…
The effect of these tactics is chilling. They raise serious questions about the true extent of the Government operations – who and what was captured within their spying net.
The Government took covert action to shut down what it thought was misinformation. It didn’t like criticism, opposition or hostility to its policies. Over-reliance on modellers’ poor quality science and the opinions of a chosen few meant the Government resorted to secret surveillance tactics to protect itself…
Truth and integrity should be the hallmarks of effective governance, not spying on its citizens with the temerity to disagree with its policies. At the height of the pandemic fear, the Government lost its way: it threatened democracy by seeking to silence its people.
But without the dissenters questioning the narrative, the restrictions would have been much worse for much longer.”
Nobody is holding the Irish government for adopting similar tactics as the UK government to suppress dissenting voices.
Shortly after Prof Heneghan appeared before the Dáil Covid Committee it was disbanded by the government.
Meanwhile in Ireland the mainstream media has been silent about similar activities conducted by the Irish state.
Thanks to an investigation by Gript Media we know that a media company called Kinzen was paid €8,600 a month by the Department of Health to combat Covid-19 ‘misinformation’ online.
Kinzen, co-founded by former RTÉ journalist Mark Little and Aine Kerr, the wife of Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin received a total of €78,000 from the Department of Health for nine months of work.
The HSE, in response to a query by TD Carol Nolan said that they had lost all records of the contract with the Department of Health and Kinzen as a result of a cyber-attack. Lockdown sceptic and co-founder of M-Compass Media Anna Kavanagh’s Facebook page was among the accounts monitored by Kinzen for the special unit set up during the pandemic within the HSE.
Nobody appears to be holding the Irish government to account for the decisions that they made during lockdown that has resulted in a huge increase in the death rate after the restrictions were lifted, possibly because of delayed diagnoses for cancers and other diseases.
The lockdown also had adverse reactions on children from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds.
A report this week in the Mail on Sunday by Valerie Hanley says almost 200,000 schoolchildren failed to return to classrooms and went missing for more than a month when schools finally reopened fully after the pandemic.
The figures were quietly released by Tusla at 5pm on Friday evening ahead of the June bank holiday weekend.
This comes months after the MoS first asked Tusla how many children have effectively fallen out of the education system since the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“We sought the figures after detailed data was released in the UK which confirmed that more than 140,000 pupils – described as ‘ghost children’ – were recorded as ‘severely absent’ or missing at least half of their classes during the pandemic,” Hanley reports.
She continues: “Education sources said similar trends are likely here, meaning that between 10,000 and 14,000 pupils may have dropped out of Irish schools since the pandemic, based on a per capita equivalent.
However, the figures published by Tusla late on Friday are far too limited to accurately gauge the extent of the problem here.”
She says Tusla is unable to shed light on the biggest single factor for why the children went missing, merely saying it was for ‘unexplained reasons’.
There is an urgent need for an inquiry into the unlawful behaviour of the Irish government during lockdown so that the removal of our rights under the constitution will never again be repeated.