The number of deaths occurring in Ireland is now significantly higher than the number the country experienced both before and during the spread of COVID-19, prompting opposition politicians to call for a full investigation into the cause.
Figures obtained on RIP.ie and analyzed by the mainstream Irish Examiner show deaths were 42% higher from 1 December 2022 to 25 January 2023 (9,718 deaths) compared to the 8 weeks to 25 January 2019 (6,802 deaths).
Deaths have risen 20% compared to the same period a year ago, while they are 19% higher than figures from that period two years ago when Ireland was entering another lockdown before Christmas 2020 and rolling out its vaccination program in early 2021.
The leader of opposition party Aontú told Newstalk Breakfast the figures indicate “something very, very serious that is happening”.
“The key point is this – and this is really, really important – the Government needs to investigate this very, very clearly, in a scientific fashion,” Deputy Peadar Tóibín said. “We need to get rid of the word ‘maybe’. When we see death rates 3,000 higher in a small six-week period than they were in a six-week period pre-COVID, we can’t have the Government standing idly by.”
“When there was an elevated death rate in 2020, the government closed down the country. Here we have an elevated death rate and there are crickets coming from the government in terms of real scientific analysis,” he added.
Tóibín, who obtained similarly startling figures from the Central Statistics Office last December showing Quarter 2 of 2022 had 39.2% more deaths than Q2 of 2021, pointed to the reduction in cancer screenings and hospital services during several COVID lockdowns as a possible cause of the spike in deaths.