Ireland is a Kip, and we have the Politicians to Prove it??? These Idiots, Dont give a Fuck for anybody???

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Details of politicians’ COVID breaches angers hospitality industry

19th December 2021


Government ministers and politicians from the three main political parties were among those who breached public-health guidelines in Leinster House and the Convention Centre.

Details of the Covid breaches come as the Government announced more draconian restrictions that have again hit the devastated hospitality sector the hardest.

Commenting on the news, Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins said: ‘We would like to see our politicians leading by example. That is not excessive in a scenario where the hospitality industry has had to implement and has effectively implemented stringent regulations. Incidents like this do not help.

‘Well we’ve all had it [Covid] at this stage. It is another example of the do-as -I-say-not-as-I-do style of rule. We need better leadership.’The Convention Centre. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie The Convention Centre. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

In one reported incident, a member of Sinn Féin was part of a group of TDs who were told to leave greater distance between each other on an escalator in the Convention Centre.

According to an Oireachtas log from October 13 last year, at a time when 811 new cases were announced the Sinn Féin member was alleged to have said: ‘Sure what difference does it make. We haven’t got it.’ They then added: ‘We’ve all had it at this stage. It’s been here since Christmas.’

In another incident, a minister was dismissive of the compliance staff who had asked a large group of TDs to keep their distance. A log of the complaint said: ‘I approached Minister [redacted] regarding this who pointed at [their] colleagues and told me jokingly it was them I needed to police.19/11/2021 Covid-19 Pandemic (Coronavirus), Ireland. Day 604 since start of lockdown. Day 194 of eased restrictions. Pictured are revellers arriving at Tramline in Dublin tonight. Along with other venues, Tramline is opening earlier than usual due to the new midnight curfew. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie 19/11/2021 Covid-19 Pandemic (Coronavirus), Ireland. Day 604 since start of lockdown. Day 194 of eased restrictions. Pictured are revellers arriving at Tramline in Dublin tonight. Along with other venues, Tramline is opening earlier than usual due to the new midnight curfew. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

That complaint detailed how a significant group of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael ministers, along with backbenchers, gathered too closely together in the Convention Centre on October 7 last year, on the same day 611 virus cases were reported.

An email said: ‘In total, we visited this area over eight times in the half hour, with at least four verbal interactions asking them to separate. It was clear in some cases, those seated had moved their tables and chairs out of line to be closer to each other. This was evident between Minister [redacted] and Minister [redacted] although we couldn’t be certain which of them had done the moving.’

The details of party affiliation, and whether those involved were ministers, were released by the Oireachtas, after they were originally redacted. However, an appeal to have the actual names of those involved disclosed has been rejected by the Information Commissioner, who found their right to privacy outweighed the public interest in them being named.

Another minister also argued with a compliance officer over why tables in a café area were set up with so much distance between them on September 10, 2020. An email said: ‘Minister [redacted] said that no other café in the country was under such obligations, I explained that the tables were set up according to the physical distancing plan by the CCD [Convention Centre Dublin].’

It subsequently emerged that Fáilte Ireland guidelines were being followed correctly with two metres between tables because there was no way to monitor how long people were spending in the area.

Other incidents involving ministers were also logged with one saying: ‘Asked Minister [redacted] and another Fianna Fáil TD to stop sharing a table. They moved back a few inches rather than properly comply.’a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a building: Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s Morning Ireland, he said: ‘We have seven days now to have a plan in place and why we’ve only got seven days is that we need to be able to plan to restock our businesses a week from July 19. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos© Provided by Extra.ie Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s Morning Ireland, he said: ‘We have seven days now to have a plan in place and why we’ve only got seven days is that we need to be able to plan to restock our businesses a week from July 19. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Another entry from the log on October 13 said: ‘Asked Minister [redacted] and another Fianna Fáil TD again to stop sharing a table. The TD (who was in the correct space) moved slightly.’

Multiple issues were also flagged with Sinn Féin including a reported outbreak in their area of the Leinster House complex with one confirmed positive case and two more suspected cases in October 2020.

One email said: ‘I’m not sure how we go about it, but I think the Sinn Féin areas of LH2000 [Leinster House 2000 building] really need to be looked at.

‘There seems to be a lot of staff and Members regularly on site with very little social distancing in their areas. Any time I have passed through their areas of LH2000 there seem to be several persons in the offices, close together, and no sign of screens, masks or distancing.’

It has also emerged that staff of the Labour Party made a formal complaint on November 16 2020 about the wearing of ineffective visors by Oireachtas members and staff around the Leinster House complex.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaste Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald all declined to publicly criticise the breaches of public health guidelines involving members of their parties when contacted.

A statement from Fianna Fáil said ‘Fianna Fáil takes very seriously our responsibility of ensuring strict compliance and adherence to the public health advice and the guidelines that have been put in place by the Oireachtas.’

Fine Gael said all health measures and guidelines should be followed by all public representatives to the best of their ability.

The Government Press Office did not respond to a request for comment about records referring directly to reports involving ministers.

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