Covid-19: FF backbencher rails at ‘almost treasonous’ teen party

Opposition accuse Cathal Crowe of ‘reckless’ contribution and failing to establish the truth

A Government backbencher has been accused of “recklessness” and failing to conduct proper research for the Dáil speech he made referring to a social media video he had seen about Covid-19.

Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe described as "almost treasonous" the video he had seen two days ago on social media site TikTok of a group of teenagers "who held a 'Covid party' and they were having bets as to who would be the first to contract the virus".

The Clare TD was speaking during a debate on legislation to give gardaí greater enforcement powers to deal with licensed premises breaching public health regulations.

Mr Crowe said “there’s fatality rate at the moment in our country of 6.2per cent of those who contract Covid” and “I think their actions in trying to draw the Covid virus on themselves and pass it on to others, I think it’s only a step or two away from from being culpable of manslaughter.”


Sinn Féin TD Paul Donnelly said, however, that a lot of what Mr Crowe said "has been found to be untrue and misinterpreted".

The Dublin West TD said “we have to be really careful where we’re looking at things that are coming up on social media to figure out whether this is the truth or not because they are very serious matters and I think I’d like that clarified”.

Labour TD Duncan Smith went even further and described Mr Crowe's speech as "one of the most reckless contributions I have ever heard" in the Dáil. He said the video dated from a month ago and he criticised Mr Crowe over what he said was a failure to properly research the issue before he made his speech.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times