Anti-vaccination campaigner Dolores Cahill is no longer employed by University College Dublin (UCD), according to college sources, and her details have been removed from the university’s online staff directory.
The university declined to comment on her status over the weekend, but college sources told The Irish Times they had been informed that she was no longer employed as a staff member or lecturer.
Ms Cahill, who is from Tipperary, has previously said she was seeking to retire from the college, did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.
UCD has faced criticism in the past for not taking action against Ms Cahill over false and misleading claims she made about Covid-19 over the course of the pandemic. There were also calls from some members of the university’s 40-member governing body for an investigation into her conduct.
However, UCD president Prof Andrew Deeks has previously defended the university’s actions in not censoring Ms Cahill. He said the principle of academic freedom prevented the university from “treating academics less favourably because of their opinions”.
Face mask comments
Speaking at an anti-lockdown rally in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day, Ms Cahill claimed that children who wore face masks would have a lower IQ as their brains were being “starved” of oxygen.
She told the Herbert Park rally that “globalists” had pushed for mandatory mask wearing because “oxygen-deprived people are easy to manipulate”.
Ms Cahill has been a respected academic in the field of proteomics, which is the large-scale study of proteins. She returned to work in Ireland in 2003 after a period in the prestigious Max Planck Institute in Germany.
In response to her commentary on Covid-19, more than 130 students, mostly from the UCD school of medicine, signed a letter saying the failure of the university to disavow Cahill’s statements had acted “as a silent endorsement” of her views.