Taoiseach says Minister who resigned over GolfGate could have future ‘opportunity’
1 hour ago
Taoiseach Micheàl Martin has said that the former Minister For Agriculture Dara Calleary could “have an opportunity into the future” to return to politics and a Ministerial position.
Calleary resigned as Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil and resigned from the Cabinet over his attendance at a golf society dinner in Galway.
At the time, the Mayo TD apologised for attending the event and told MidWest Radio: “I made a big mistake. I shouldn’t have gone to the function. I didn’t want to let people down and I take responsibility for that mistake.”
His tenure as Minister For Agriculture lasted just 37 days.
At the time of Calleary’s resignation, the Taoiseach said the Mayo TDs attendance at the event was “wrong and an error of judgement on his part”.
However, during an interview on Virgin Media with Claire Brock, the Taoiseach was asked again about the issue.
“I was very annoyed about it and to be fair to Dara Calleary, he got it straight away and fairly quickly. We discussed it that evening and he said, ‘Look, I’ve made a very big mistake here.’
“He resigned and I feel very sorry for him too because he’s a very able person, very committed to politics – he has been all his life – he’s a very strong parliamentarian from Ballina. He would have been a fine Minister and I think will again have an opportunity into the future.”
Following the GolfGate revelations, the European Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, Supreme Court judge, Séamus Woulfe, and the Leas-Chathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Jerry Buttimer, all resigned too.
During the interview, the Fianna Fail leader elaborated on Calleary’s actions in the aftermath of GolfGate.
“I think Dara Calleary took a decision that will stand him in good stead, I think, in the fullness of time. He took his decision, he publicly acknowledged that he made a very big mistake and that he had hurt people by that. He was sorry for that and that matters, I think, in situations like that,” said Martin.