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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar meets with three Golfgate senators

The charges against all defendants in the ‘Golfgate’ were dismissed this month.

TANAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said that he has met with three senators involved in the ‘Golfgate’ scandal. 

Earlier this month, the charges against defendants in the ‘Golfgate’ trial were dismissed by Judge Mary Fahy in Galway District Court. 

Independent TD Noel Grealish (55), former Fianna Fail senator Donie Cassidy (76), John Sweeney (61), owner of the Station House Hotel in Clifden, and his son James (32), the general manager of the hotel all faced charges in relation to Oireachtas Golf Society in August 2020. 

The State had alleged that the four men were organisers of the event and that the event contravened laws enacted to minimise or slow the spread of Covid-19.

It was confirmed at their parliamentary party meeting that the Fine Gael leader had met with the three FG senators Jerry Buttimer, Paddy Burke and John Cummins in relation to the controversial dinner. No charges were brought against them.  All three lost the Fine Gael whip for six months as a result of the incident. 

The Tánaiste said he accepted the verdict of the court that no laws or rules were broken and accepted the three attended in good faith with no intention to break laws or rules.

However,  he acknowledged the context of the time where the country had just been asked to cancel events and he feels this event should also have been cancelled. 

The scandal cost Mayo TD Dara Calleary, who was present at the dinner, his ministry. 

It has emerged on Monday that former EU Commissioner Phil Hogan suggested he may seek compensation from the European Commission over his resignation amid the controversy.

Hogan previously apologised for attending the controversial dinner but denied that he breached Covid-19 quarantine rules.




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