Supreme Court judge Seamus Woulfe likens ‘overblown’ media coverage of Golf Gate to ‘Ku Klux Klan’
Supreme court justice Seamus Woulfe has said the media ‘scraped the barrel’ in their coverage of Golf Gate as he likened it to ‘a Ku Klux Klan’.
He was one of 82 people who attended the controversial Oireachtas Golf Society event in Clifden, Co Galway, in August.
Several senior political figures, including EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan and Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary, were forced to resign following the scandal.© Provided by Extra.ie Pic: Gareth Chaney Collins
However, Justice Seamus Woulfe has now branded the media’s coverage of the Golf Gate Scandal as ‘fake and overblown’.
During a meeting with former Supreme Court chief justice Susan Denham, Mr Justice Woulfe said that is would be ‘unjust and disproportionate’ if he was forced to resign.
A transcript published by the Judicial Council shows that Susan Denham branded the event in Clifden a ‘huge public controversy’.© Provided by Extra.ie Justice Seamus Woulfe accused the media of treating Golf Gate atendees like ‘the Ku Klux Klan’. Pic: Gareth Chaney Collins
However, Seamus Woulfe said that media coverage surrounding Golf Gate had been ‘completely fake [and] overblown’.
‘It’s a little bit of digression but I’m appalled at the kind of media treatment of the society event and the [way] it’s presented,’ he said.
‘In some way, it’s like a Ku Klux Klan now because on that day and both times there was a friendly social atmosphere.© Provided by Extra.ie
Mr Justice Woulfe said he was ‘shocked and dumbfounded’ to hear Dara Calleary has resigned. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
‘I met a number of people, mainly retire[d] politicians.’
Seamus Woulfe said that when he saw the initial story about Dara Calleary attending the Golf Society dinner, he thought it was ‘the greatest load of rubbish ever’.
He said: ‘I thought nothing of. I thought: “Jesus, they’re really scraping the barrel here during the silly season in August.”‘
Mr Justice Woulfe said that he was ‘dumbfounded and shocked’ to hear Dara Calleary had resigned as Minister for Agriculture.© Provided by Extra.ie Seamus Woulfe accused the media of ‘scraping the barrell’ with the story. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins
He also noted that the media could add ‘fuel to the fire’ as a judge was in attendance and that ‘three was no valid reason why I shouldn’t have been there.’
Elsewhere in the transcript, Seamus Woulfe told Supreme Court chief justice Susan Denham that he was concerned that his golf handicap ‘might come down’ due to previous lockdown restrictions.
He said: ‘It’s important to note that golf was one of the things that people were very disappointed about had to stop at all because people felt golf was one of the safest things. I remember myself thinking my handicap might come down.’
Fred has the wig. He asks the question about the Report. Remorse doesn’t appear to exist. It is quite evident in the cases of Dara Calleary and Phil Hogan; there was some level of remorse.