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Isn’t the Minister and TDs afraid of the law or the Covid-19? Celebration with breach of Covid-19 instructions at golf social event

Galway: Are the ministers, TDs and EU trade commissioners not compelled to adhere strictly to the Covid-19 restrictions, which tell the public 24 hours a day?

Oireachtas colleagues and political and social figures, along with Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary, attended the golf event at the Clifden Hotel, which was attended by 80 people in violation of health guidelines. The EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan was also present.   

Following the news, people on social media hurled insults at the minister and the TD. Critics have called for the Fianna Fail deputy leader to resign.

The minister apologized for violating the rules, but people were not satisfied. The Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the Oireachtas Golf Society was celebrated at the Station House Hotel in Clifden, Galway County. It is known that 82 people attended the function.

Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary and his wife Siobhán, Galway TD Noel Grealish, Senator Jerry Buttimer, Senator John Cummins, Senator Paul Daly, Senator Niall Blany, former Fine Gael Senator Cáit Keane, former attorney general Séamus Woulfe, the Moroccan ambassador Lahcen Mahraoui, former Labour Party senator Lorraine Higgins, former Fine Gael Senator and TD for Sligo–Leitrim Gerry Reynolds, former Fine Gael senator Imelda Henry, Circuit Court judge, and a former Workers’ Party TD Pat McCartan, who serves as the vice-captain, and a number of others from ruling party and opposition party were included in the guest list.

A spokesman for the Agriculture Minister said, the minister was also present to pay tribute to the deceased former Oireachtas member. The minister returned very soon after a brief speech and meal. He maintained social distance throughout the event, the spokesperson explained.

“In light of the updated public health guidance this week I should not have attended the event.”

The event was organised by the president of the society and former Fianna Fáil TD Donie Cassidy. The ceremony was held to commemorate Mark Killilea Jr, a former Fianna Fáil MEP golfer who passed away in 2018. The minister said, Killilea’s family was in attendance at the event.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn criticized the cabinet member for publicly violating the High Level Health Committee guidelines. The government haven’t given permission for 80 people to get together, he said.

However, the Irish Hotels Federation stated they had not received any written guidelines from the Department of Tourism. This event was booked a few months ago, they said.  

TD Paul Murphy said the event should have been canceled. “I think it’s extremely poor that this event went ahead. It shows that they think it’s one rule for them and another for everybody else,” he added.

He pointed out that, it is giving a false message that, even when ordinary people are cancelling weddings and other events, people who are part of the government are violating the rules.

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