Oireachtas Golf Society dinner, Covid-19 and the law – ‘an utter disgrace’

 

Sir, – I, like many in this country, have abided by the rules and legislation regarding Covid-19 in order to protect myself and others. During the height of restrictions at Easter, I attended the burial of my grandmother, along with nine other members of my family. We didn’t have the opportunity to have a church funeral or share stories of her life with friends over a meal. I have had to cancel the wedding we had arranged in May and cancel honeymoon travel plans. We, along with the majority of the country, have made many sacrifices.

Mr Justice Seamus Wolfe of the Supreme Court, in his former role of attorney general, played a large part in writing the legislation so should know the rules far better than most. I believe his position is untenable and he should stand down. – Yours, etc,

ROS CAFFREY,

Cabra,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – I do not want anyone who can make such stupid and selfish decisions to have the authority to make any decision about my life, my health and my country. – Yours, etc,

ALAN ROSSITER,

Greystones,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Claims that the Government is anti-sport, based on their recently implemented Covid-19 restrictions are clearly baseless and untrue, proven by the fact they achieved a rare “hole-in-one” at a recent golf function this week, albeit in one of its Cabinet positions. – Yours, etc,

AARON CHALKE,

Ballintubber,

Co Mayo.

Sir, – Some of the Station House 81 have paid for their irresponsible behaviour with loss of the perks of office. The rest of us taxpayers foot the bill every time they deign to gather in session at the Convention Centre. Should the Dáil and Seanad be moved west of the Shannon? – Yours, etc,

DOROTHY BARRY,

Mallow,

Co Cork.

Sir, – I am furious at the antics of our political “leaders” in Clifden. I live in Kildare, where we have been struggling with a local lockdown, which is now going to be extended. I and others have been obeying the rules, which in my case meant cancelling a much-anticipated domestic holiday. Why, precisely, am I bothering? This is our Barnard Castle moment. I hope that the medics and experts who advise the Government will call this out in the strongest possible terms. – Yours, etc,

IAN D’ALTON,

Naas,

Co Kildare.

Sir, Hypocrisy unmasked. – Yours, etc,

DERVAL DUGGAN,

Kilternan,

Dublin 18.

Sir, – Dara Calleary had to resign from his role for attending a gathering of more than 80 people.

Next week I have to attend a meeting of more than 60 teachers in my school.

The Government states there is no confusion regarding the new measures. I find myself completely confused. – Yours, etc,

NIGEL TIERNEY,

Sutton,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – As the loss of two agriculture ministers makes the new Government look careless rather than merely unfortunate, perhaps, in the interests of stability, the Taoiseach might consider appointing someone with no interest in attending sporting events? – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.

Sir, – Golfers aspire to a hole in one. The Oireachtas Golf Society has managed a whole mess in one. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL WILSON,

Belfast.

Sir, – With political apologies abounding, we are indeed in a sorry State. – Yours, etc,

TOM GILSENAN,

Beaumont,

Dublin 9.

Sir, – Ah, bless the boys. And their little Oireachtas Golf Society outing. Or was it the Mutual Ego-Stroking Society’s agm?

From senior politicians and a judge on the highest court in the land, the plebs have been put back in their place. You all do what we say, while we will do just what we like. What a slap in the face for all those who mourned lost love ones in the past six months but were unable to hold a traditional funeral because they held the common good in higher regard and were not riven by arrogance and petty self-importance. Each and every holder of public office who attended this golf outing should muster whatever shreds of decency they still may retain and resign immediately. You are an utter disgrace. – Yours, etc,

PATRICIA MULKEEN,

Ballinfull,

Sligo.

Sir, – People have to understand that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael wanted to celebrate their marriage. Congratulations to all concerned! – Yours, etc,

EUGENE TANNAM,

Dublin 24.

Sir, – Perhaps NPHET could clarify some aspect of the current Covid-19 guidelines for us?

Is it now permissible to host a wedding reception for over 50 persons if the banqueting hall is divided by screens into spaces which contain only 50 persons, including serving staff? Furthermore, is it permissible to remove the dividing screens for the speeches? Finally, could they advise of the proposed dimensions and fabric of these screens, so that the health of the guests may be safeguarded? – Yours, etc,

FRANK WALSH,

Coolballow,

Wexford.

Sir, – Given the very serious consequences for many of those who attended the now infamous Oireachtas Golf Society dinner, will this event be now referred to in Irish political life as The Last Supper? – Yours, etc,

JOHN KANE,

Limerick.

Sir, – If you listen closely you can hear Irish political journalists mutter delightedly to themselves, “Fianna Fáil, you have been away too long. How we missed you.” Now they can tuck into an “All you can eat buffet” of controversies. – Yours, etc,

JOHN LYDON,

Durrow,

Co Offaly.

Sir, – Fionn from the Fianna called. They want the name back. – Yours, etc,

MICHELE SAVAGE,

Dublin 12.

Sir, – Surely a classic example of the political perils of “Events, dear boy, events.” – Yours, etc,

RONNIE SIMPSON,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – I am one of several million citizens adhering, with difficulty, to the advice given by the Government.

What a sad day for our democracy. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL CAMPBELL,

Newbridge,

Co Kildare.

A chara, – One of the most prevalent comments about this event is that a child would have known that it should not have gone ahead. It is an obvious point to make, but this does not mean these people have less intellectual capacity than a child.

These are intelligent people. A European commissioner, a Supreme Court judge, a Government Minister, TDs and Senators past and present, a former prominent political broadcaster, and even the chief executive of the Banking and Payments Federation were in attendance. They do not get to their positions by being juvenile. It is far simpler than that. They have the mindset of egocentric politicians from a bygone era instead of an attitude of genuine leadership through personal responsibility and action.

This is nothing short of an arrogant dismissal of the majority of an electorate who have abided by the guidelines, missed funerals, cancelled or rescheduled weddings, lost jobs and livelihoods, and reorganised working conditions to new restrictions and timelines, and that is not to say anything about our healthcare workers or frontline staff.

This was completely avoidable and everyone who attended did so of their own volition.

This Government promised us a different and new way of conducting politics.

So much has happened, but so little has changed. – Is mise,

PAUL McCARRICK,

Athlone,

Co Westmeath.

A chara, – The Soldiers of Density. – Is mise,

CHRIS O’KEEFFE,

Waterford.

Sir, – Dara Calleary and Jerry Buttimer have resigned their positions over their unwise participation in an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Galway which breached Government guidelines on the Covid-19 crisis. They were right to do so.

Their resignations had been demanded by Opposition parties and the media. This is understandable. However, there is one party that has no right whatsoever to be part of the chorus of condemnation, and this is Sinn Féin, which is once again guilty of cynical hypocrisy.

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane not only welcomed the resignation of Dara Calleary and Jerry Buttimer but he also demanded the resignation of others who attended the event.

Sinn Féin’s attempt to take the high moral ground on the Galway dinner is in marked contrast to the position it adopted on the breach of Covid-19 guidelines that occurred at the funeral of the IRA’s Bobby Storey on June 30th when Sinn Féin members and representatives breached of the Northern Ireland Executives guidelines.

The chief offender on that occasion was Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill who, like Dara Calleary, was also responsible for making decisions on Covid-19 regulations.

Why doesn’t Sinn Féin seek the resignation of Michelle O’Neill as Deputy First Minister.

If not, media outlets in both parts of Ireland should ask them to justify their hypocrisy. – Yours, etc,

JOHN CUSHNAHAN,

(Former Fine Gael MEP

and former leader of the

Alliance Party),

Lisnagry,

Co Limerick.

A chara, – The Oireachtas Golf Society dinner at Clifden was a most revealing affair. It was good to see that, whatever about their occasional public tiffs, our political and legal luminaries can all sit down to enjoy a good meal together.

Pity about the party-poopers who had to go and spill the beans to the press. – Is mise,

JOHN GLENNON,

Hollywood,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Circuses in Ireland have had to close due to Covid-19. But fret not. The Government has stepped into the breach. – Yours, etc,

Dr FARAH MASSIMI,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – The hope I had even during the darkest days of the lockdown has been replaced by anger. How come 81 people can get together after a golf outing and my family of 17 people cannot meet up in my son’s garden in Co Kildare to celebrate a very special event in our lives? – Yours, etc,

MARY HAREN,

Elmbank,

Cavan.

Sir, – As I prepare to be locked down for another two weeks in Co Kildare, I am reminded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm as I attempt to digest the arrogance of some of our “esteemed” leaders. – Yours, etc,

LINDA BYRNE,

Celbridge, Co Kildare.

Sir, – Only the “little people” obey the regulations! – Yours, etc,

Dr EUGENE EGAN,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – There’s them and then there’s the rest of us. – Yours, etc,

M GUILFOYLE,

Ballybrack,

Co Dublin.