16th February 2021
On another Zoom morning following the introduction of new Government Legislation in respect of mandatory 14-day quarantine for passengers arriving from outside the State who fail to remain at the address noted on the passenger locator form, the penalties for noncompliance being a fine of up to € 2,500.00 or 6 months in prison, or both and the enforceability of the regulation were discussed in some detail. Our contributor, Seamus Gunn, was of the view that the regulation was unenforceable, he said that it distracted from what he believed was the bigger picture, being the tardiness with which the vaccine is being rolled out within the jurisdiction, comparing figures of 20% to date in the UK, 14% in Northern Ireland, with less that 2% in this country. He said it was not the time for further regulations which the Gardai had not been given guidelines as to how to enforce and in his view were unenforceable. He also put forward the scenario of an individual travelling into Northern Ireland and then travelling South. He referenced the Constitutional protection of one’s home and the requirement of a search warrant if it is to be entered. Greg Hughes highlighted the lack of accessibility to the Nphet evening press conferences/briefings. Seamus Gunn was of the view that the matter could be raised in the Dáil which was the proper forum in order to obtain answers to obvious questions in relation to the vaccine delay. He said that while the cavalry was coming, they had not arrived yet.
A wide and varied Q&A followed, kicking off with the complications that could arise with refunds on holiday/airline bookings.
Listen to the full interview below.
19th January 2021
On another busy Zoom show to start the beginning of 2021 the discussion revolved around the legal implications of the riot on Capitol Hill on the 6th of January when Donald Trump supporters attempted to stop the count of the electoral college vote and the ratification of President Elect Biden by invading Capitol buildings, the actions being widely condemned both nationally and internationally. Our contributor was of the view that the sanctions that are currently available, being the invoking of the 25th amendment of the Constitution to remove President Trump from office and/or impeachment would not likely come to pass due to the practical time constraints. He thought of the 2 proposed sanctions that the latter was more likely if the republicans wanted to distance themselves from President Trump. Seamus Gunn was more interested in the possible criminal sanctions that could follow after the 20th of January when President Trump leaves office, highlighting that incitement to riot is illegal under US federal law and conviction on such a felony could attract a heavy custodial sentence, in some states 10 years. He also reminded Greg Hughes that there are other investigations which have been ongoing for a considerable number of years, some of which were being addressed by the District Attorney of Manhattan and that he thought that President Trump’s latest statement where he mentioned reconciliation and an orderly and seamless hand over of power, that this was more as a result of an apprehension on his part as to what would follow after he left office by way of a criminal investigation. Greg Hughes put forward the proposition that President Trump may intend to start a new party to rival the Democrats and the Republicans. Seamus Gunn thought this highly unlikely as his support base would be critically eroded by his actions of late and that the vast majority of Republicans would not go with him. He was also of the view that this could be the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s future political ambitions. He expects more to follow in the coming days and weeks, that may be more interesting after President Biden has been inaugurated – “May you live in interesting times”.