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Four people to be prosecuted over alleged Covid breaches at infamous Golfgate event

On 19 August last year, 81 people attended a dinner in a Clifden hotel, Co Galway as part of an Oireachtas Golf Society event.

Image: Shutterstock/Branko Jovanovic

FOUR PEOPLE ARE to face prosecution over alleged breaches of Covid-19 regulations over the infamous Golfgate dinner.

On 19 August last year, 81 people attended a dinner in a Clifden hotel, Co Galway as part of an Oireachtas Golf Society event. 

A file in relation to the political controversy – where elected representatives, former politicians, and a judge were accused of breaching the Covid-19 restrictions by attending the event – was forwarded to the DPP last month by gardaí.  

In a statement today, gardaí said: “An Garda Síochána has received directions from the DPP in relation to the prosecution of four individuals for organising an event in contravention of health regulations at a commercial premises in Galway in August 2020.

“Summons have been lodged with the Courts and District Court dates in relation to each of the individuals are awaited.”

A garda spokesperson said there would be no further comment on the matter.

Among those who attended the Golfgate dinner were then-Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary, then-EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan, Supreme Court judge Séamus Woulfe, former RTÉ presenter Sean O’Rourke, and a number of senators. 

Calleary resigned immediately from his role, and Hogan resigned later following increasing scrutiny of his whereabouts and actions.

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On 21 August, An Garda Síochána said it would probe alleged breaches of The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020.

Under these regulations referenced by Gardaí, the law states that: “A person shall not organise, or cause to be organised, an event for cultural, entertainment, recreational, sporting, social, community or educational reasons in a relevant geographical location other than where one or more of the following applies:

(a) in the case of an indoor event, the maximum number of persons attending, or proposed to attend, the event (for whatever reason) does not exceed 50 persons.
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Sean Murray

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