Covid 19: Irish Minister, Dara Calleary Resigns Following Attendance Of Event & Violations

The Minister for Agriculture in the Republic of Ireland, Dara Calleary has resigned from the cabinet after attending an event in Clifden, Co Galway, with 80 other people on Wednesday night.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has accepted Mr Calleary’s resignation.

In a statement, the Taoiseach said that Mr Calleary’s attendance at the event was “wrong and an error of judgement on his part”.

“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,” Mr Martin said.

He added that Mr Calleary “remains, a committed and dedicated public representative.”

It is intended that Mr Martin takes over the Agriculture portfolio until the Dáil is due to return on 15 September.

However there are growing concerns for an immediate recall of the House.

Mr Calleary and EU Commissioner Phil Hogan were among the guests at the Oireachtas Golf Society event.

Other guests at the event include: independent TD Noel Grealish, Supreme Court Judge Seamus Woulfe, and former RTÉ broadcaster Sean O’Rourke.

There have been calls for Mr Hogan and Leas-Chathaoirleach of the Seanad Jerry Buttimer, who was also in attendance, to explain why they were at the event.

Minister for Education Norma Foley also said that Mr Calleary made “a very serious error of judgement” by attending the function.

While speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Norma said she understands the anger, frustration and disappointment people felt and it should never have happened and the event should not have taken place.

Our correspondent S’Teller gathered that reported 81 people were at the dinner, with guests split into two separate rooms.

On Tuesday, the Government announced new restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19, which included limits on social gatherings and that no formal or informal events or parties should be organised in restaurants, cafes and hotel restaurants.

Mr Calleary was appointed Minister for Agriculture last month following the sacking of his predecessor Barry Cowen, who had been at the centre of controversy over a drink-driving ban he received in 2016.

In a statement shared on via his verified Twitter handle last night, Mr Calleary had apologised, saying he should not have attended the event.

“I wish to apologise unreservedly to the public, from whom we are asking quite a lot at this difficult time. I also offer this apology and my sincere regret to my government colleagues,” he said.

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