Vaccine outrage as Private Hospital administers ‘spare doses’ to Private School teachers from a connected fee-paying school. Class privilege In Action!
The breaking news this morning on national radio and news is creating a wave of outrage as it appears that ‘spare batches’ of the Astra Zeneca Vaccine has been given out by a private hospital in leafy South Dublin, The Beacon, to family contacts and to teachers in a private fee-paying school in Bray County Wicklow. It was also reported on RTE Radio News programmes this morning that the CEO of The Beacon Hospital has family members attending the private school which benefited from the spare doses.
While the IRSP recognize that it is infinitely better that the vaccines were given out and administered, regardless of to whom, rather than being dumped in a bin, it raises deeper questions about the Irish Health System and access to services in Irish society more widely. Of course, we agree with the general sense of outrage and the view that more needy people who are in the higher risk health groups regarding the virus should have received the vaccine jabs first. We also feel the need to expose what happened as not just mismanagement of waiting and priority lists, but an open example of class politics and privilege at work in pandemic ravaged Ireland.
The existence of private health institutions such as The Beacon, and private education institutions such as elite fee-paying schools – who both identify and market themselves as a better service or product than that of the State operated national services – is an insult to the very idea of citizenship and life in this so-called “republic of equality” which the Irish State likes to present itself as.
Elite and class privilege in the current republic is rife, and the scales are unfairly balanced in favour of the wealthy, the powerful and the well connected. The need to build a politics around ending this privilege, and the founding of a new republic which guarantees fair and equal access is the job before us after the anger has receded. We must set about the task of building of this republic immediately.
The Republic of 1916 and the Democratic Programme of the 1st Dáil was choked in the cot. The Irish Free State and the 2nd Republic declared in the Constitution of 1937 has been a stitch up, originally between Church and State, and of late between a liberal elite wedded to the interests of landlords, cattle ranchers and international investors – who year on year extract the surplus of Ireland’s productive capacity. A movement for a 3rd Republic in essential now. A democratic revolution driven by the principles of socialism and public ownership of key industries and wealth production, is the only route to a better and fairer Ireland – one that buries forever the native and foreign exploiters that currently maintain this foul system of privilege that endlessly rears its head.
Join the IRSP in fighting for a real public health system and in fighting for a new republic.
Let the fight begin for the 3rd Republic!