Elaine Byrne: Politicians may regret handing reins of power to experts in the pandemic

It may be tempting to outsource unpopular decision-making, but it means those elected to lead the country become sidelined

7th November, 2021
Elaine Byrne: Politicians may regret handing reins of power to experts in the pandemic
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, largely became the public face of the pandemic. Picture: Rollingnews.ie

Has the pandemic sidelined the profession of politics? In his new book, A State of Emergency: The Story of Ireland’s Covid Crisis, Richard Chambers, the Virgin Media news reporter, details the revealing relationships and dynamics between ministers, civil servants and experts.

The opening pages contain an astonishing admission by unelected government officials. As the focus centred on Election 2020 in February, “the civil servants in the Department of Health felt liberated in the...

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