August 2020 Archives

Contract for National Broadband Plan

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The Government appears to have availed of the Phil Hogan controversy to slip out the National Broadband Plan (NBP) contract on Tuesday last. It is hard to understand why it bothered as the contract spans 50 weighty files of which only 21 are not fully or partly redacted.

Given that the contract could require €3 billion from taxpayers and runs to about two thousand pages, the cost per page (before redactions) works out at about €1.5 million per page. Hopefully, the NBP proves to be better value for money than this contract which will cost €15 million a year for decades to supervise and, by virtue of its length and longevity, is likely to become a legal minefield and lawyer's paradise.

Letter published in Irish Times on 28th August 2020.

Zero Covid-19

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The surest way for schools to fully re-open at the end of August is to totally suppress Covid-19 on the entire island as per New Zealand. This means 100% buy-in on masks, distancing etc. backed by effective legislation along with a 24-hour testing service, compulsory testing/isolation of incoming travellers, minimal foreign travel and all-island collaboration.

With only thirty days to their re-opening, we have little time in which to hit zero-case suppression.  If successful, we could open up almost every restricted activity and become 'normal people' again.

Lead letter in the Irish Times on 3rd August 2020.

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