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Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said "there is no doubt that this has been a difficult few months". Sam Boal/

Green leader Eamon Ryan says he hopes scandal 'will not impact the good work happening' in government

Ryan said this afternoon the event was a “clear breach of the Covid-19 regulations”.

GREEN PARTY LEADER Eamon Ryan has said the infamous Oireachtas Golf Society event on Wednesday night “should not have taken place” and was a “clear breach of the Covid-19 regulations”. 

However, Ryan said he hopes this scandal “will not impact the good work happening right now across government”.

His statement this afternoon comes during a tumultous day for the government, which began with the resignation of Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary following his attendance at the dinner.

Originally reported by the Irish Examiner last night, Calleary was among a number of politicians who attended the Oireachtas Golf Society event in Clifden in Galway.

Other attendees included Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer – who has since resigned as Leas Cathaoirleach – as well as EU Commissioner Phil Hogan and Supreme Court Seamus Woulfe.

Eighty-one people attended the event, with the room divided into two. The Examiner reported that up to 10 people were seated at tables.

The event has been met with anger given the restrictions in place during Covid-19.

In a statement this afternoon, however, Ryan said the government now needs to “reflect, regroup, and focus our attention on what needs to be done”. 

“I think Dara Calleary has done the right thing,” he said.

“The measures that have been put in place this week have been difficult for us all. Cabinet ministers who participate in making decisions that impact people like this have a duty more than anyone else to stick to the regulations.

He made a mistake, he apologised and now he has resigned. I hope this will not impact the good work happening right now across government.
There is no doubt that this has been a difficult few months. We are living through unprecedented times, so many families have lost loved ones and many more have made huge sacrifices.

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