Luke O’Neill, Ryan Tubridy’s answer to Bill Nye the Pseudo-Science Guy, is not new to comically sad stunts. Showing how a mask stops him from unleashing elderly spittle into some cryogenic liquid will go down in infamy as one of the most cringe-inducing moments of the pandemic. Made all the worse by the awe with which forty-year olds held it as an act of common sense. All I’m waiting on is for him to be described as a ‘rockstar’ and then I’ll have my bingo.
Mr. O’Neill’s newest trick seems to be fusing hyperbole and hypocrisy. According to the Irish Times (I refuse to listen to Claire Byrne where the comment were made) last December, Mr. O’Neill said he would be “the first in line” to get the vaccine. “We should all line up […] This is a very dangerous virus, we need to remember that all the time.”
Similarly in an interview on Newstalk in the September before that, Mr O’Neill recommended that people “trust the science” and that it would be “your choice” to not take one, but went on to state in the most petulant attempt at fear-mongering, that in France the unvaccinated are not allowed to attend school. In Mr. O’Neill’s book (“Never mind the bollocks here’s the science”) he allegedly states: “if all else fails, we might need to make it illegal not to vaccinate.”
He seems like a True Believer then, doesn’t he? Which makes his decision to refuse an offer of vaccination all the more strange, as he admitted on RTÉ Radio One. It was (as it always is) shrouded in an attempt to portray oneself as selfless (how he “wasn’t on the front lines”) — because when there’s “a very dangerous virus”, the rational thing to do as an elderly man is to refuse it.