Covid-19: Ireland’s top medical officers targeted by abusive calls


Two of Ireland’s most senior public health officials have received abusive phone calls, which government ministers described as sickening and “appalling”.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan and his deputy Dr Ronan Glynn were reportedly targeted on Friday night.

The pair are among the most prominent public figures in Ireland’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Separately, a health journalist released a recording of a strange call he got in the early hours of Saturday.

Fergal Bowers, a correspondent for Irish national broadcaster RTÉ, said he received the anonymous call just after 03:30 local time and would be “alerting the relevant authorities”.

Several media outlets, including Ireland’s Sunday Independent are reporting that gardaí (Irish police) are now investigating the phone calls.

A spokeswoman for An Garda Síochána (Irish police force) told BBC News NI that although she would not comment on individual cases, “a number of reports of menacing phone calls have been reported… and these matters will be fully investigated”.

The calls to Dr Holohan and Dr Glynn were condemned by Ireland’s Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and his predecessor Simon Harris.

“It is absolutely appalling that public health doctors advising government would be targeted with abuse for doing their jobs in the middle of a pandemic,” Mr Donnelly tweeted.


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