Big Phil should Resign, along with Judge Woulfe, but they will battle it out no doubt. If Martin has any Balls now, he should push for their Resignations, as he did Barry Cowen. Problem is Michael wont do it?

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#Golfgate latest: Phil Hogan and Seamus Woulfe believed event complied with Covid-19 guidelines

#Golfgate           latest: Phil Hogan and Seamus Woulfe believed event complied           with Covid-19 guidelines

Supreme Court judge and former Attorney General Seamus Woulfe has confirmed that he attended the event on the understanding that it complied

Micheál Martin’s Government has been rocked by the fall-out from an Oireachtas Golf Society event in Galway on Wednesday night, as revealed by the Irish Examiner.

The then Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary was among over 80 people who attended the event, which breached public health guidelines.

Current public health guidelines around Covid-19 say that no more than 50 people should gather indoors.

The main events so far:

  • Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary has resigned;
  • Galway West TD Noel Grealish has apologised saying “it was an error of judgement”;
  • Senator Jerry Buttimer has resigned as Leas Cathaoirleach of the Seanad;
  • Gardaí have confirmed they are investigating the event for alleged breaches of Covid-19 regulations.
  • Phil Hogan confirmed he attended and claims he fully complied with guidelines
  • Leo Varadkar has removed the Fine Gael whip from Senators Jerry Buttimer, Paddy Burke and John Cummins
  • Former Attorney General Seamus Woulfe confirmed he attended believing event complied with guidelines

The event, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Oireachtas Gold Society, saw other public figures attend, including EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, Supreme Court judge and former Attorney General Seamus Woulfe, Circuit Court judge Pat McCartan, Independent TD Noel Grealish and senators Paul Daly, Aidan Davitt, Niall Blaney, Paddy Burke, John Cummins and Jerry Buttimer.

 

12.53pm: Fine Gael Senator John Cummins says he should not have gone to the dinner, while Fianna Fail Senator Paul Daly has said sorry for the upset caused.

12.03pm: Supreme Court judge and former Attorney General Seamus Woulfe has confirmed that he attended the event on the understanding that it complied with public health guidelines.

He released a statement saying: “I confirm that I attended one day of the Oireachtas Golf Society outing in Ballyconneally on Wednesday 19th August, as an invited guest.

“I was not aware in advance that there was going to be an organised dinner as part of the event.

On learning of the proposed dinner during the course of that day, my understanding was that the organisers and the hotel had satisfied themselves that they would be operating within Government public health guidelines.

“I attended based on that understanding, that it would be within the guidelines, but do apologise for any unintentional breach of any of the new guidelines on my part.

“I would never disregard governmental or health authorities advice regarding public health, and have been at pains to follow rules and guidelines since their introduction in March.

“That I ended up in a situation where breaches may have occurred, is of great regret to me, and for which I am sorry. I unreservedly apologise.”

11.40am: The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has removed the party whip from Senators Jerry Buttimer, Paddy Burke and John Cummins.

The Fine Gael leader said he made the decision “in recognition of the seriousness of this matter”.

He added: “All have apologised profusely and accept they made a serious error of judgment.”

The EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said he fully complied       with quarantine rules at the event. File picture: Collins

The EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said he fully complied with quarantine rules at the event. The EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has released a statement saying the organisers of the Oireachtas dinner got reassurances from the Irish Hotels Federation that it would be following government guidelines.  He said “prior to the event” he fully complied with quarantine rules and has been in Ireland since late July.In a tweet, Mr Hogan did not apologise for attending.

11.04am: Dara Calleary has told Mid West Radio that the Taoiseach Micheál Martin was angry and disappointed with him.

Mr Calleary said: “I’ve let him down, I’ve let my colleagues in Government down, so he’s entitled to be angry. He’s entitled to be disappointed. They’re all entitled to that anger and disappointment.”

10.23am: An Garda Síochána has confirmed it is investigating the event saying in a statement:

“An Garda Síochána is investigating an event that was held in Co. Galway on the 19th August, 2020 into alleged breaches of The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020, as amended.

As this is an active investigation An Garda Síochána has no further comment.”

10.03am: Senator Jerry Buttimer has resigned as Leas Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, for attending the golf dinner.

Mr Buttimer posted a letter of his resignation on social media this morning.

9.23am: Noel Grealish has apologised for attending the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner.

The Galway West TD insists he exercised social distancing throughout, and was assured the event met public health guidelines.

He says it was an error of judgement.

8.51am: Taoiseach Micheál Martin accepts Dara Calleary’s resignation saying his attendance at the golf event was wrong.

Mr Martin said: “This morning Deputy Dara Calleary tendered his resignation as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, following his attendance at the Oireachtas golf dinner on Wednesday evening.

Dara Calleary's resignation has provided Micheál Martin         with another political headache just five weeks after the         Taoiseach had to sack Barry Cowen as his original Agriculture         Minister. File Picture: Gareth Chaney

Dara Calleary’s resignation has provided Micheál Martin with another political headache just five weeks after the Taoiseach had to sack Barry Cowen as his original Agriculture Minister. File Picture: Gareth Chaney”His attendance at this event was wrong and an error of judgement on his part. I have accepted his resignation.

People all over the country have made very difficult, personal sacrifices in their family lives and in their businesses to comply with Covid regulations. This event should not have gone ahead in the manner it did given the Government decision of last Tuesday.

“Dara Calleary, since he was first elected to Dail Eireann has been, and remains, a committed and dedicated public representative.

TEST TRACE…TEST…TRACE…TEST TRACE.  We all know about washing hands frequently to prevent easily transmitted COVID-19 infecting people.  Will somebody please confirm given the alarm bells about agriculture and meat marts/factories and their high incidence of Covid-19 infection, that a Test and Trace team have engaged and taken samples from all who attended this event and all staff too.  Example is essential.  Our scientists eg Kingston Mills; Tomas Ryan give of their time to warn us to be aware.  We need to know that all people involved and who attended this event were tested immediately and if anyone was found to have the virus.

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