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Minister of Agriculture Dara Calleary resigns for violating covid guidelines. Resignation follows strong protests on social media

Dublin: Minister of Agriculture Dara Calleary resigned after attending a celebration in violation of health guidelines. The minister’s resignation came amid protests against him on social media and in the ruling party. Prime Minister Michael Martin accepted the resignation.

The Prime Minister opined that while people across the country were making very difficult and personal sacrifices in their family life and business to comply with the Covid rules, the minister should not have gone to the celebrations in violation of the government decision.

The golf event, which was attended by 80 people at the Clifford Hotel, was attended by Agriculture Minister Dara Calorie, Oireachtas colleagues and political and social figures. 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.  

Although the minister apologised for the public infringement of the law, the citizens were not satisfied.

The Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the Oyster Charts Golf Society was celebrated at the Station House Hotel in Clifden, Galway County.

A spokesman for the Agriculture Minister had said that, 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.

The Minister tweeted apologizing to the public. “In light of the updated public health guidance this week I should not have attended the event,” he tweeted.

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. 

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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