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Second Fáilte Ireland board member resigns following trip to Spain

Spain is not currently on Ireland’s Green List.

Breege O'Donoghue
Breege O'Donoghue
Image: PA Images

MINISTER CATHERINE MARTIN has accepted the resignation of Fáilte Ireland board member Breege O’Donoghue following confirmation that she travelled to Spain during the summer. 

O’Donoghue is the second board member to resign from Fáilte Ireland after travelling aboard this summer. Its chairman Michael Cawley stepped down last month following reports he travelled to Italy – which is on the Green List – for a holiday. 

The Irish Examiner this evening reported that O’Donoghue spent time at her second home in Marbella, Spain in July and August. It also reported that O’Donoghue has resigned.

Spain is not currently on Ireland’s Green List. 

In a statement this evening, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin said she was “disappointed” to learn that O’Donoghue travelled abroad. 

Martin said she rang O’Donoghue this evening and that she “has offered her resignation which I have accepted”.

“We are all aware of the devastating impact that Covid-19 restrictions have had on the tourism and hospitality sectors and I am disappointed to learn that a second member of the board of Fáilte Ireland travelled abroad this summer, notwithstanding government advice,” Martin said.

In order to support our own industry, and in line with the prevailing government health advice, Fáilte Ireland has been to the forefront in promoting domestic holidays. 
Ultimately, staying at home supports our tourism industry at a devastating time, showing solidarity in the face of a pandemic that is costing lives and livelihoods across Ireland and the world.  

“I rang Ms O’Donoghue this evening and she has offered her resignation which I have accepted,” Martin said.

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“I wish to thank Ms O’Donoghue for her service as a member of the board of Fáilte Ireland and her important contribution to the work of promoting tourism in Ireland during this time. I have accepted her resignation as I believe it would not be tenable for her to continue in the role, given all of the circumstances,” she continued. 

Martin said she has “sought a meeting with the board of Fáilte Ireland at the earliest opportunity at which I will make clear that members of the board are expected to show leadership during this time of unprecedented crisis in the sector which they represent”.

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